If you have never had a car accident before and are now trying to settle your case with the insurance company, you might feel confused during the process. One of the confusing parts can be understanding the process of settling an accident. The adjuster handling the case will likely offer you a settlement amount within just a few weeks of the accident, and you might think that you have to accept this offer. You should know, though, that you do not have to accept this offer. Instead, you could counter it.
Why you probably should not accept the first offer
As the victim of the collision, you have the right to pursue a settlement amount that is fair for you, which means that you have the right to negotiate. The adjuster assigned to settle your case is someone the insurance company hires, and the goal is to settle for an amount that will cost the insurance company the least amount of money. Because of this, the first offer is generally not the amount of money the insurance company will actually be willing to pay, but they will offer it as a starting point for negotiations.
The rights you have in settling the case
When they offer you a settlement amount, you have the right to fight it, counter it, and pursue a higher amount. If you plan on settling the case yourself, the best thing you can do is give the case some time before you are willing to negotiate, as this will often help you receive more money. Secondly, if you decide to counter the offer the adjuster gives you, you should counter it with an amount that is higher than the amount you actually hope to receive. For example, if the adjuster offers to settle for $30,000 but you really want to get $50,000, you might want to counter the offer by asking for $60,000. This would give you some room to negotiate with the deal.
The best way to handle your settlement
The best way to handle settling a major car accident is by hiring a personal injury attorney to settle it for you. A lawyer will not only know the best strategies to use to settle the case, but he or she will also have experience knowing how much a case is worth. You will likely receive more money if you choose to handle the case with a lawyer representing you.