What Should I do to Maximize My Car Accident Settlement?
If you are involved in an Alabama car accident, from our perspective, first, you should hire an attorney or speak to one to get a game plan.
More than 90 percent of accidents result in a negotiation with the insurer for the other side, the party who was reckless and caused the accident. You may think that you can conduct your own negotiation. Maybe you can, but a study by the Insurance Research Council shows that you are far more likely to have a favorable settlement with the help of an experienced Alabama accident attorney who has been down this road before.
For example, road bumps in the Alabama law make a favorable resolution far more complex. With a confidential and complimentary consultation with J. Allan Brown, you will better understand what you must do to move forward.
Regardless, there are things you can do to maximize your car accident settlement.
Act Sooner Rather Than Later
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers who do nothing but try and negotiate down your car accident claim. They will fight any fair settlement. That’s one of the reasons insurance companies are so profitable. Get a lawyer involved in your case as early as possible, so you can level the playing field against well-funded insurers.
You’ve just been in a car accident and may not have the presence of mind, but this is the best time to gather evidence at the scene. What are the conditions with the weather, road conditions, and traffic?
Take out your smartphone and snap some pictures before anything is moved. Photos are the scene are the best type of evidence you can gather. Even take a video of the scene, including:
- Where the vehicles landed
- Any cameras in the area. Often intersections have cameras mounted on light poles
- Take any witness statements along with their name and contact information.
- Do not speak to the other driver. He is likely to be agitated and get into an argument. You only need his name, insurance information, and car VIN. Take pictures of both vehicles and the damaged area. Never admit any fault at the scene, as the adjuster will use it against you.
No doubt, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will reach out to you in the days following the accident. He may even show up at the scene. He may be very friendly and want to engage in a chat. He may even offer you a settlement on the spot. You believe him to be fair and honest.
That should tell you that the adjuster believes you are due much more. This individual is not your friend, even though he sounds sympathetic. He is there to diminish your claim’s value and prevent you from fair compensation.
It is generally best not to engage with the insurance adjuster. Instead, hand the negotiation along to an experienced Alabama car accident attorney who will determine the actual value of what this accident has cost.
You cannot always walk away from a car accident without being injured. Soft tissue injuries, head trauma, bruising, and breaks are common. Again, the insurance adjuster will want to minimize your injuries saying they are not as bad as they really are. In Alabama, you are advised to seek medical care right away to assess the damage to your body.
To maximize your settlement, you will want to record how you feel and how the injuries impact your life. Include in a journal:
- The daily pain you are feeling.
- How many medical appointments you attend, including follow-up therapy.
- How your mobility is limited following the car accident.
- What medications you are taking.
- How much work you have missed due to the car accident.
- If you have returned to work, have your duties been reduced?
- What has all of the above cost you? Keep records of your medical expenses and how much work you have lost due to the car accident.
Please do not overlook simple tasks you used to be able to accomplish. For example, you used to drive your kids to soccer and now have to rely on other team members to step in for you.
Your Alabama Car Accident Attorney
As mentioned, Alabama law makes a recovery from a car accident difficult for an individual. The statute of pure contributory negligence means the insurance adjuster will claim you contributed to the accident, therefore, are not due any compensation.
Attorney J. Allan Brown will delve into the specifics of your accident to determine its cause. He has over two decades of experience in dealing with the adjusters for the other side and has seen all of the tricks used to try and minimize your car accident settlement.
From the cost of medical care and rehabilitation, even life planning, you should not have to pay for someone else’s negligence. Contact the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C. in Mobile for a complimentary review of the facts of your case. Call (251) 473-6691 to get started.