ICBC Lawyers

Tips For Negotiating With Your Insurance Company After A Car Accident

As if damaging car accidents weren’t problematic enough on their own, in the aftermath of these events, you and your insurer will have to agree upon a reasonable payout for the damages that your car has incurred. Insurance companies obviously have the upper hand in these negotiations given that this is what they do, whereas you’re probably dealing with this type of negotiation for the very first time.

Here are a few ways to stay empowered while you work to obtain the best settlement possible from your car insurance company.

Research The Costs Of The Needed Repairs

After a car accident, a claims adjuster will be given your file, and this professional will be tasked with the challenge of deciding how much your vehicle repairs will cost, and making an offer to settle your claim. To assess the value of any claim, it is important to know whether or not these monies are actually going to cover the full costs of the necessary automotive repairs.

Next, you can start asking for additional estimates for damage repairs. The most obvious solution is to bring the car to a local and trusted body shop or mechanic if you’ve got access to either of these. You actually have the ability to take your auto to as many garages and mechanics as you want, until you receive a figure that you believe is a good reflection of the damages that the vehicle has sustained.

Good Faith Negotiations

If you receive an initial offer that falls below the estimates that you’ve collected, you are not obligated to take it. Instead, you can begin negotiating with the insurance company. At this stage, the goal of the insurance company, and your goal should be to constructively engage in an effort to avoid legal action, which can be both costly and time-consuming for everyone involved.

Go into these negotiations with your ideal settlement amount in mind, as well as the minimum dollar amount that you’re willing to accept. Both your maximum and your minimum numbers should be based on the estimates that you’ve collected. As these negotiations move forward, stay level-headed so that you can weigh both the weaknesses and the strength of the offer objectively. If the offer falls below the amount that you expect, ask for the insurance adjuster to justify the offered amount so that you have a better idea of how the offer was ultimately shaped.

Beware Of “Betterment”

Betterment is one thing that an adjuster might attempt to argue against. If you have an older car, it may be necessary to source new parts in order to repair it, which will actually wind up making your vehicle more valuable than it was before your car accident – or this may be what the insurance company attempts to argue.

A lot of insurance companies might charge you for the extra value or try reducing their settlement in relation to the expected increase in value. To counter claims of betterment, you will have to prove that using new parts isn’t going to add value to your vehicle. To help your case, think about getting testimony from an expert witness or your mechanic.

Working With Write-Offs

If your car has sustained a considerable amount of damage, it may be written off by your insurance company as a “total loss” given that the insurer may believe that the costs of repairing it will actually exceed its cash value. The definition of what constitutes a total loss is often different from state to states. There are states that use TLT or the total loss threshold for this determination – where the damages need only to go over a specific percentage of the automobile’s value before calling it a total loss. However, nearly half of all states use the TLF or the total loss formula instead, which means that”if the total repair costs and the salvage value of the vehicle are over the market value for the car, then the car can be considered a total loss,” says Tim from Tim Louis Law.

If this is a decision that you want to negotiate with your claims adjuster on, or if you want to know more about total loss, you will need to find out whether the TLF or the TLT system applies in your area. If you do attempt to challenge, it is best to show proof that your vehicle is worth more than the value that has been determined before. As an example, if modifications to your vehicle were not accounted for in the appraisal, document these modifications and provide evidence showing how the vehicle’s value has been increased as the result of these additions.

If you believe that you aren’t being offered adequate compensation at this point, you can always hire a car accident lawyer to fight for you. Hiring legal help is actually always an option whenever you lack sufficient time, or the ability to negotiate with insurance adjusters effectively. If your claim is relatively small, however, the payout that you ultimately get could be lower than your legal fees. Notwithstanding, if the case appears to be difficult in terms of determining which driver was at-fault, then hiring an attorney could be your best bet.

Upon Accepting A Settlement Offer

Once negotiations are complete, and each party is happy with the outcome, you will need to accept the settlement offer in writing. This does not need to be a long and drawn-out document, but rather, one that clearly outlines the settlement amount and what repairs the related funds will be used for should be perfectly sufficient.

Things To Check When Selecting A Car Accident Lawyer

How Do You Begin Your Search for a Car Accident Lawyer?

It is not easy to finalize a lawyer for your personal injury case. There are many personal injury lawyers, and you have to assess a few of them to select the one who is right for you. Some of them practice individually, while others work in a firm. How do you choose the right personal injury lawyer to represent your case?

First, consult your family members and friends. You can contact a family lawyer you have known and seek reference for a personal injury lawyer. Do not depend on one source or reference. Do your own research and compare the records of a few lawyers specializing in this field. You must have complete trust in the lawyer you hire.

Research and Check Credentials

Will you let any surgeon perform your heart surgery? You will always do due diligence, research several surgeons profiles, and only then select the right surgeon. Similarly, you want to make sure the personal injury lawyer you choose will represent you accurately and get you the best deal. The lawyer must have a good track record of representing personal injury cases and winning most of them.

Trial Lawyers Association is a good start. This organization’s members are only those personal injury lawyers who represent plaintiffs. By hiring a lawyer who is a member of this organization, you can ensure you are dealing with a registered and licensed lawyer. If the lawyer you select is not a member of this organization, you should ask why that is so.

How Do You Select the Best Personal Injury Lawyer?

It is about your gut feeling as well as what information and data you find after researching about a lawyer. You may be dealing with the selected lawyer for several years, so it is important to select the right one. The lawyer must pay attention to your lawsuit and recovery process. Your first priority should be to choose a lawyer who is capable and competent in personal injury laws. Next, you must feel comfortable dealing with the lawyer you select.

What Should You Look for in a Car Injury Lawyer?

There are various factors you have to consider when interviewing and researching the personal injury lawyers. Ask some important questions. How the lawyer responds to your questions? How do you perceive the lawyer’s team? Are you receiving satisfactory answers to your specific questions? Do they pay attention to you during the initial process when you are holding discussions with them? What types of support services are offered by the lawyer’s office beyond the primary services?

Answers to these questions will help you select the right car accident lawyer. Trust your gut feeling when taking the final decision. There are some specific questions that will help you decide clearly.

Trial Experience

Make sure the prospective car accident lawyer has trial experience of vehicle accident cases where the plaintiff suffered an injury. Many personal injury cases are settled without going to the trial. The victims still receive some settlement amount. However, if your opponents guess your lawyer is unwilling to go to the trial, you may still receive the settlement, but the amount you receive will be a lot less than what you would have got if the lawyer was competent to handle the case at the trial stage.

The Most Important Factor to Consider

You must know the most important factor to consider when selecting a car accident lawyer. First of all, you must have confidence in the lawyer you decide to represent your case. You have to trust your instincts. If the lawyer shows any hint of feeling uncertain or worried, you should look for another lawyer.

You want to deal with a personal injury lawyer who understands your case clearly. You will feel comfortable when discussing your case with such a lawyer. The professional will listen attentively when you are informing about your case matters. The lawyer will not only offer expert suggestions but also understand how this accident has affected your life.

How To Find A Good Personal Injury Lawyer

Focusing on recovery and getting any compensation you deserve are both important if you have been injured in a car accident, making finding a reliable personal injury lawyer a must. They will give you general legal advice, negotiate with the insurance adjuster and can advise you on any estimate of a settlement amount. Making your case stronger by gathering together evidence is also one of their responsibilities, and if the trial ends up in court, they will represent you.

These tips can help you find the best possible car accident lawyer in your area, one that will handle your case as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

1) Good Communication

Being direct and explaining things is one of the qualities you should look for in a good personal injury lawyer; you want to be able to walk out of their office with your questions answered. Their fees, the procedure, and exactly how they propose to represent you should be explained and easy to understand. You may find you have issues with miscommunication somewhere during your relationship with them if you don’t have a clear understanding and insight of them and their practice during your initial consultation.

2) Taking An Interest

You shouldn’t expect your lawyer to take an active interest in your case if they aren’t engaged and interested; one way to tell is to see if they ask you questions about your case and any goals you have. You may end up with a smaller settlement than expected if you work with a lawyer who isn’t interested and isn’t doing their best.

3) Ask For References

To establish how competent a personal injury lawyer is and whether you want to work with them, ask for a list of references. Don’t work with a lawyer who doesn’t want to give you any references. Even if you don’t contact those people to talk to them, the fact that you were given references is a good sign and should inspire confidence.

4) What Does Their Office Look Like?

Take a look around their office. If the receptionist can’t cope with answering the busy phone lines or your injury lawyer is struggling with too much paperwork, these may be signs that they aren’t efficient and well organized enough to take your case. A lawyer is more likely to be organized, efficient, and able to get things done if their office appears organized, appealing, and tidy.

5) Experience

If your case involves a car accident, it makes sense to work with a personal injury lawyer with specific experience of car accidents. And of course, you want your lawyer to have a good track record when it comes to successful cases and also has plenty of experience of going to court and arguing the case.

6) Feeling Comfortable

You want to feel comfortable working with your injury lawyer, especially as you may be working with them for weeks or months. You should feel as though you are being listened to and understood and that the lawyer is on your side and isn’t working for the other party’s insurance company.

Welcome To Ridlen Law

It is common knowledge that pleading guilty to speeding tickets will increase your insurance rates.  The Ridlen Law Firm, LLC, routinely negotiates non-point amendments to traffic infractions to keep tickets off your driving record so your insurance rates remain unaffected.  The Ridlen Law Firm, LLC, can get many tickets amended without you ever having to show up to court.