What to Know About Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement

Injured in an accident? Learn more about how to negotiate your car accident settlement with the defendant’s insurance company.

Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement - there are many important factors to consider when negotiating your car accident settlement.
Circles Dots Lines

What to Know About Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement

According to a study of personal injury cases in the United States, most end with acceptance of a settlement offer. Only about 3% of car accidents and other personal injury claims go to trial.

Reaching a fair settlement with an insurance company is a challenging task. Insurance adjusters look out for the interests of their insured, the person at fault for causing the car accident, and the insurance company. 

To those ends, insurance adjusters undergo training to learn techniques to use during settlement negotiations. Their goal is to minimize the validity of your claim by offering a settlement that does not adequately compensate you for the injuries and property damage caused by their insured.

As you continue reading, you’ll learn tips you need to know to negotiate a settlement of a car accident claim to receive fair compensation for pain and suffering and other damages caused by the negligence of another party. 

You’ll also learn how to overcome tactics that insurance companies use to gain an unfair advantage that could force you to settle for a fraction of the actual value of your claim.

Apply Now

Key Takeaways

  • Most personal injury claims are resolved through a negotiated insurance settlement.
  • Auto accident cases take years to make their way through the courts, but a car accident settlement cuts the time it takes to receive the compensation you deserve.
  • Insurance adjusters undergo training to make them skilled negotiators, so you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to level the playing field.
  • Insurance companies are not on your side, so be wary of unfair tactics insurance adjusters use to gain an advantage during the negotiation process.

Get up to $500,000 With Rates as Low as 2.5% Simple, Monthly

What Are The Benefits Of Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement?

A settlement is an agreement that is usually accomplished through a negotiation process. The participants in the negotiation process are usually the car accident attorney for a person injured in an auto accident and a claims adjuster who works for the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

The negotiation process may start when the insurance company receives a demand letter from the personal injury attorney representing the injured person. Sometimes, the negotiation process does not begin until after a personal injury lawsuit is started on behalf of the car accident victim. A settlement agreement can be reached at any stage of the case with some car accident cases being settled during trial.

A personal injury settlement offers many benefits to letting the lawsuit go through the court system. Some of the key benefits of reaching an agreement through the settlement process include the following:

Faster Than Waiting for a Trial 

The average time for a personal injury case to be resolved through a trial is about 19 months. Even if your car accident lawyer wins at trial, an insurance company may appeal the result, which delays the case and payment of the compensation you’ve been waiting to receive. 

When your personal injury attorney and the claims adjuster settle, you receive a check for the settlement amount, less your lawyer’s legal fees, within days or weeks of the end of the negotiation process.

You Retain Control Over the Settlement Process

When a personal injury claim goes to trial, the amount awarded to an auto accident victim depends solely on the decision by a judge or jury. On the other hand, settlement negotiations are a series of offers and counteroffers that you and your personal injury lawyer make or consider during the negotiation process.

You control when to accept an offer to settle the insurance claim instead of leaving it up to a judge or a jury to decide how much you receive as compensation for your car accident claim.

Avoid the Cost of a Trial

Court costs and fees paid to expert witnesses, including doctors, can be avoided by reaching a reasonable settlement acceptable to all parties in a car accident lawsuit.

Preserves Privacy 

Courts are typically open to the public, so there is a lack of privacy when auto accident cases go to trial. The settlement process offers more privacy than court proceedings because settlement negotiations usually involve only the insurance adjuster handling the car accident insurance claim and the personal injury attorney representing the injured accident victim.

If you are concerned about finances while waiting for a settlement agreement or payment, a pre-settlement funding company can help with a lawsuit loan that gives you access to a portion of the value of your claim. You receive a cash advance that does not get repaid until the settlement or verdict in the auto accident lawsuit.

Steps Involved In Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement Case

The settlement of a car accident claim is a process that begins by gathering evidence to prove that the negligence of another person caused an auto accident. An insurance company will not make an initial offer to settle unless you have evidence proving that their insured driver caused the car accident and that you suffered personal injuries or property damage.

The steps in the negotiation process start at the accident scene and include the following:

  • Gathering evidence: Photographs of the accident scene should be taken before moving vehicles. Include photos of debris or skid marks, pavement markings, traffic control devices, and the location of surveillance or cameras that may produce a video of the accident. Other evidence includes police reports, eyewitness statements, and medical records. The medical records contain the results of examinations, diagnostic testing, and other information to prove the injuries included in your car accident claim. 
  • Understanding the value of a car accident claim: The value of an auto accident claim is based on the compensation or damages the law entitles an accident victim to receive from the at-fault party. Economic and non-economic are the two categories of damages. 
    • Medical expenses incurred for medical treatment for injuries suffered by accident victims and lost wages are economic damages, which can be proven with medical bills, payroll records, and receipts. 
    • Other types of damages, known as non-economic or special damages, cannot be as easily calculated because they lack a precise dollar value. For example, the value of physical and emotional pain and suffering is highly subjective, so a personal injury attorney and a claims adjuster use their experience handling personal injury claims to estimate the value of non-economic damages.
  • Drafting a demand letter: A demand letter may be the first notice the at-fault party receives of a pending personal injury claim. Demand letters are sent before the start of a lawsuit to encourage the insurance company to begin the negotiation process to avoid going to court. The letter may be sent to the at-fault party or their insurance claims adjuster. The demand letter describes the car accident, injuries suffered by the person making a claim, a brief explanation of why the insured driver is at fault, and the damages the injured party deserves to recover.
  • Negotiating with the insurance company: Next in the process is a first offer to settle from the claimant followed by a counteroffer from the auto insurance company. A personal injury law firm may refuse to reduce the amount demanded unless the counteroffer is reasonable. 
  • Reaching a settlement agreement: Once the parties in the settlement process agree on a settlement amount, they sign a settlement agreement, ending the case.

Get Started

Apply today and get funds in as little as 24 hours!

Tips For Negotiating A Successful Settlement

The keys to a successful settlement process include the following:

  • Be honest with the insurance company about the extent of your injuries: Claims adjusters investigate car accident claims. If what you say about the extent of the injuries conflicts with what the medical records prove, a claims adjuster may refuse to continue settlement discussions.
  • Understand the insurance company’s perspective: Settlement offers made by an insurance adjuster must be based on the evidence, so you can help increase your settlement’s bottom line by providing the insurance company with the evidence you have supporting your settlement demands. It gives the claims adjuster a way to justify a settlement offer.
  • Know when to compromise: The best settlement agreement is when neither side feels it won or lost. The settlement process depends on compromise to reach a common goal—settlement of a claim for car accident injuries.
  • Have a skilled negotiator on your side: Insurance adjusters negotiate vehicle accident insurance claims daily. They do it for a living, so they’re skilled at getting claimants who do not have law firms representing them to take less money than the case is worth. One tactic is to delay settlement talks to put financial pressure on the victim of a vehicle accident to get the person to accept a low offer. Personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators who can see through insurance company tactics to get you the settlement you deserve.

Finding a personal injury law firm to handle your claim is easy because most offer a free consultation. You can use it to get legal advice about your insurance claim while deciding whether you feel comfortable with the lawyer.

Factors That Can Affect A Car Accident Settlement Case

Many factors affect the settlement process in an auto accident case, including the following:

  • The severity of injuries: Claims with severe injuries that may leave an accident victim needing future medical treatment or long-term disabilities generally result in more money offered in settlement by insurance companies.
  • Liability and fault: An insurance company needs evidence of fault on the part of its insured to settle a claim. Evidence of partial fault of the claimant in causing an accident may reduce the settlement offer from an insurance company.
  • Insurance coverage: If an at-fault motorist is uninsured, a compensation claim may be made through the uninsured motorist coverage of the injured party’s auto insurance policy.
  • Need for future medical treatment: A settlement agreement must consider the future medical care that an accident victim may need. For example, a person with severe facial lacerations may need future surgery.

Use the free consultation offered by personal injury law firms to discuss factors that may affect your car accident settlement.

Get $500 – $500,000 in as Little as a Single Business Day!

We understand that if you’re applying for funding with us, you needed the funding yesterday. With your attorney’s cooperation, we can provide funding as soon as the same business day.

Apply now for a free consultation