How To Settle A Car Accident Claim Without A Lawyer automobile accident lawyers auto injury lawyers
If you want to settle a car accident claim without a lawyer, here are the steps you would need to take.
1. Determine the Extent of Your Damages
When you are involved in a car accident, the driver at-fault for the crash should “make you whole,” or compensate you for all losses including:
Past and future medical bills
Past and future lost wages
Pain and suffering
You’ll want to have a good idea of what your case is worth before you begin the process of negotiating a settlement so you don’t ask for (or accept) too little money.automobile accident lawyers auto injury lawyers
You may need to get some expert advice on how much your future medical bills and lost wages are likely to add up to. And you should look into ways that insurers calculate pain and suffering. For example, some provide compensation equal to a multiple of your economic damages (such as two times or four times the amount of your medical bills and lost wages) while others pay a per-diem (per day) rate for each day your pain is likely to persist.automobile accident lawyers auto injury lawyers
2. Identify the Parties Responsible for Harming You
You’ll want to be sure you’re making a claim against the right people or entities after a car accident.
In most cases, you will be pursuing a claim against the other driver who caused your crash and thus dealing with that driver’s insurer.auto injury lawyers
But there may be others to blame as well. For example, you could potentially have a claim against the driver’s employer if the accident occurred while the motorist was on-duty at work. Or if you were involved in a collision with a drunk driver, you might be able to recover compensation from the bar who served him alcohol.automobile accident lawyers
3. Gather Your Evidence
You will need to be able to make a strong case to show that you are entitled to compensation if you want to maximize the chances of receiving a fair settlement offer.automobile accident lawyers
You should have solid evidence that the other driver was to blame, such as witness statements or a police report. You’ll also want proof of the extent of your losses, such as medical records and a diary showing how your pain has impacted your life.auto injury lawyers
The more evidence you have, the more likely it is that an insurer will accept fault and accept your estimate of the extent of the damages you have endured.
4. Write a Demand Letter
Once you know how strong your case is as well as how substantial your losses, you can write a demand letter to the insurer representing the driver who harmed you. Your demand letter should detail: automobile accident lawyers
The facts of the case
The expenses you’ve incurred
Your path to recovery
A request for a reasonable amount of compensation
Sending a demand letter allows you to open negotiations on your terms, rather than starting from the amount the insurer offers.auto injury lawyers
Get Your Free Consultation From a Lawyer Near You.
5. Carefully Review a Settlement Offer
If the insurer of the other driver has accepted fault for the collision, the insurer will make a settlement offer. This will usually involve agreeing to pay you a set amount of money in order to give up any future claims. You should review this offer carefully to determine if you feel the compensation is sufficient to cover all of your losses.
Giving up future claims by accepting a settlement is a big step and one you should not take until you are certain about the extent of your damages and your current and future losses. You don’t want to end up with regrets.How To Settle A Car Accident Claim Without A Lawyer automobile accident lawyers auto injury lawyers
You can counter the offer that you receive, or you can decline it if you don’t feel like you’re being treated fairly. If you cannot settle, you will have to go to court to obtain compensation. The process of filing a lawsuit and proving your case is very complex and you will almost definitely need an attorney to guide you through.
6. Take Action Within a Reasonable Time Period After the Accident
Finally, if you are trying to negotiate your own settlement, you must be sure you know the statute of limitations. This is the time limit applied to injury claims. Depending where you live, it is usually between two years and four years.How To Settle A Car Accident Claim Without A Lawyer automobile accident lawyers auto injury lawyers
If you do not file a claim against the at-fault parties by the time the statute of limitations runs out, your claim will be time-barred. You will not be allowed to make your case at all going forward if this happens. So don’t delay too long in reaching a settlement agreement or filing a lawsuit with the help of an attorney.