Those who have been involved in a car accident will attest that it can be extremely difficult to get the compensation they deserve. The other party will argue their case, so you have to be ready to counter them. The insurance companies will also try to minimize the amount that they must shell out.
In this situation, you need to know how to force everyone to stay honest and give you the amount you are entitled to under the law. Here is how to maximize a car accident settlement:
Stay Calm at the Site
It all begins at the site of the accident. It is easy to give in to panic in this kind of situation, but you must stay calm for your own good. Check if you have sustained any injuries after the collision. Do the same for any passengers in your vehicle.
Get out of the car and see if anyone else is injured, such as pedestrians or the people in the other cars. Provide assistance to these individuals. Call 911 and wait for the paramedics to arrive at the scene.
Survey the damage to property. Give a detailed account of the incident to the police once they get there. File your own report, if needed.
Present Solid Evidence
Settlements are meant to speed up the process so that the people involved in a crash can move on from the incident. If the case goes to trial, then it could drag on for years. Settlements can be completed in months or less if both parties come to an agreement right away.
This doesn’t mean that it is easy or that you can have better results in this process. In order to get a good outcome, you must show the other party that you have enough evidence to go to court and get a favorable ruling from the judge. If they know that they will lose in trial, they will be more willing to pay a hefty settlement deal.
Aside from physical evidence, you must convince the people who saw the incident to act as your witnesses. They can corroborate your statements and make your case that much stronger.
For example, you may acquire CCTV footage of the incident from a nearby commercial establishment. A witness can come in to explain what he or she saw to provide context to the video and clarify what is going on frame by frame.
A witness can also provide information that might not necessarily be captured in physical evidence but is nonetheless crucial, such as the weather that day, the road conditions, the state of the traffic lights, and so on. Witnesses don’t have to be present at the negotiating table; they simply have to put their observations into writing.
Hire a Lawyer
While it is possible for anyone to enter into a settlement, it would be much better to go through this process with legal representation. An experienced car accident lawyer, such as the folks at Lopez & Humphries, can protect his or her client from making costly mistakes.
Once a deal is reached, the parties involved must comply with the provisions or else they will be held in contempt of court. To prevent the lawsuit from being resubmitted, one party may request for dismissal with prejudice.