10 Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Your Car Accident Settlement
Successfully negotiating your car accident settlement, even with an auto accident lawyer on your side, can be tricky. So, you don’t want to make any mistakes, big or small, that could unintentionally affect the process in a negative way. Avoiding the following mistakes can keep you on track to a positive settlement, resulting in the payout you deserve.
1. Not talking and listening to your lawyer
Not having a lawyer to help you and advice you during the claims process is a huge mistake. Lawyers specializing in personal injuries know the system and can give you all the information you need to file a successful claim.
Lawyers will only request you do or not to do something if it directly benefits your case.
2. Talking to the other side without legal representation
This is a standard rule for all legal proceedings. Speaking to the other side without representation could end in you accidentally admitting something that could harm your claim.
3. Not providing concrete evidence
If you don’t have any pictures, videos, or related evidence, it will only come down to your word against the other’s which does not hold up well in a court of law. Therefore, always make sure to document everything regarding the crash and your resulting injuries.
4. Speaking without thinking of the consequences beforehand
Pay attention to your wording at all times – even responding to a seemingly innocent question like how are you with the answer “fine” could have the other sides insurance company convinced you are not really injured and don’t need the payout.
5. Creating social media posts that contradict your previous statements
Be careful of what you post on social media since it can be used against you. Posting about your recent vacation, or excellent health are absolute no-gos during personal injury cases and settlements.
6. Admissions against interest
Do not make any so-called “admissions against interest” – these could cost you thousands in your final payout amount. These admissions generally give you some of the responsibility of the accident.
Some examples of admissions against interest are:
- I’m sorry. I didn’t see you!
- I was talking on the phone.
- I knew there was something wrong with my brakes.
- I feel fine; I don’t need an ambulance.
These phrases should not be said at the scene of the accident or during the settlement proceedings. They can do a lot of damage to your case, even if you are unaware of the effect.
7. Trusting that the insurance company has your best interest in mind
Insurance companies’ number one priority is to make money and keep the money they earn. They are not excited at the prospect of giving you a hefty settlement due to the damaging actions of another individual.
This is where an auto accident lawyer can help you create the most favorable case resulting in a positive result for you or your loved one.
8. Not researching the appropriate settlement amount
Keep all your medical bills on hand as well as proof of lost wages. After all, cold hard facts are the only thing that can guarantee a positive settlement. If you are unsure where to find the necessary documents or who is the right point of contact, get in touch with a car accident attorney. They will take over the whole process for you.
9. Providing a recorded statement
If you agree to record a statement, everything will be based on that information moving forward. There is no way to change your words, feelings, or descriptions regarding the accident or its aftermath.
Never lie, even for the smallest details. Lying could make you lose all credibility for the rest of the proceedings, resulting in a low chance of a reasonable settlement. It’s the same thing for exaggerations, stick to the truth!
If you were injured in Michigan following a car crash, get in contact with Cochran, Kroll, & Associates. P.C. Take advantage of our free consultation and find out how our team of experienced auto accident attorneys can help you. Call us on 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) today!