It’s one of the scariest, most expensive things to happen to you, beside college. One moment, you’re on the road, and the next, you’re . . . well, you’re not on the road. You’ve been hit and lost control of your car, and right now, you’re just feeling lucky you survived the crash. You may not feel lucky when you see your car, though.
In cases like these, it makes sense to lean on your car insurance, right? I mean, they’re the ones responsible for paying for your losses when you’re hurt. Only, they’re still a for-profit business, so they’re not going to give up those profits without a fight.
Letting them refuse or lowball your settlement puts you in a financial bind, which is why I’m here to help. If you’re seeking a car accident claim, take the following steps to get compensated.
Double-Check Their Numbers
If you don’t have the numbers in front of you for your claim, it can be tough to fight for your fair settlement. The insurance adjuster will have already reviewed the cause of the accident, how much your car repairs are worth, and how much they can offer you. You need to check your own numbers.
Of course, someone like a Richmond car accident lawyer can do this for you, and they can help if your car accident claim goes to court. But what do you need to know whether you get an attorney or not?
First, you need to know what your car was actually worth if you sold it as-is before the accident. You may have added something, like a stereo, or replaced an aging part, and that cost wasn’t included in the BlueBook price.
Demanding the Right Amount
Once you have the information you need, you can send a demand letter to the insurance company. This letter lists the costs they failed to include and demands the maximum settlement from the insurance company.
Often, these letters are written by your lawyer, but if you have done the math, you may have what you need for your claim. Unfortunately, the insurance company may still deny, lowball your settlement, or refuse to answer you at all.
In the Courtroom
If things continue to get worse, you may have to just say, “Well, I tried.” No, I’m not telling you to give up on your claim—I’m suggesting that you give up on getting the funds straight from the insurance company, and that you file a lawsuit against them instead.
Insurance companies have a contract that says they’ll cover your losses caused by a car accident. If they breach that contract, they may owe you compensation for your losses and for the costs and suffering they may have caused.
Getting fairly compensated isn’t always easy, but it is possible. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, don’t accept a low or no settlement—check out your options and take the option that gives you your full compensation.