NEW YORK – You are a good person, trapped in a bad situation. As New York personal injury lawyers, we see this scenario all the time; and one of the most common questions we hear is: What Should I Settle For In A Car Accident?
Unfortunately, that bad situation can quickly get out of hand without the right help on your side.
The insurance industry has made the claims process so convoluted that it’s nearly impossible for the average person to understand. In some cases, they’ve even used ethically questionable techniques to gain an upper-hand on accident victims, who are just trying to get what’s fair.
What Should I Settle For In A Car Accident?
Even before you start negotiating a settlement, gather all the information you can get about your accident. Where did it occur? Who’s at fault? Do you have an accident report? Did you get medical attention? Answering these questions and others will help you get the best result possible. It will also help you calculate a reasonable amount of compensation owed to you.
So, how do you settle a claim without getting screwed by the insurance company? Here are some tips anyone who’s been involved in an accident can follow:
- Get Immediate Medical Attention. NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS ABOUT IT. Not seeking medical treatments and failing to follow-up with your doctor tells the insurance adjuster that you’re not really injured. If you really were hurt in an accident (even if it’s minor), see a doctor right away and document everything.
- Get Your Information Together. Take pictures of the crash scene. Get statements from witnesses and other the driver(s) involved. WRITE IT DOWN. Grab a copy of the accident report, too!
- NEVER EVER Speak To An Adjuster. Why is the at-fault party’s insurance company calling you? They’re checking-up on you, and writing things like this: “Well, they didn’t seem injured when I talked to them,” or “They told me they didn’t get medical attention, so the injury must be minor.” They have the whole conversation recorded.
- Get Legal Representation. Although anyone can file a claim, insurance is so complicated now that you might need a law degree to understand it. Your first call after an accident should be for medical attention. Your second call should have you dialing a phone number of an experienced, local legal team.
At Cellino & Barnes, a New York personal injury lawyer will walk you through your case from day one, and help you achieve the best result possible. Our team approach has been successful in all 50 states, and we’ve helped our clients obtain over $2 Billion in settlements and verdicts.
If you have any questions about the claims process, or if you want file an accident claim, call us! The call is FREE – and our experienced New York personal injury attorneys are happy to help.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888