Victims of serious car accidents in Mississippi should be fully compensated for their injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies and their defense firms will use every measure possible to undervalue an auto accident settlement.
At Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC, we have seen firsthand how financially devastating serious injuries can be to accident victims and their families. We work with clients to ensure the highest recovery possible, and we’ve identified several tips for getting the best results when negotiating settlements for car accident claims.
1. Slow It Down
Your accident might have happened in the blink of an eye, but don’t expect for the resolution of your case to be quick. In fact, it would be a terrible idea to settle your claim too soon.
The full extent of your injuries and damages may not be evident for many months, and you can easily shortchange yourself by settling a case too quickly. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to offer quick and easy settlements. Agreeing to these is never in your best interests.
Instead, take the time to get the medical treatment you need after a serious accident. Once you’ve stabilized, you can then think about settling your case for a fair amount.
2. Don’t Accept First Offers
Again, be incredibly suspicious of any insurance adjuster that approaches you with a “one-time” settlement offer. These companies realize that most laypeople don’t know how to place a fair value on an insurance claim.
This is a negotiation process, so the first offer from an insurance company is generally far too low. If you’re unsure about what is the right next move, you can always consult with an attorney about your case.
3. Get Your Documentation in Order
Your injuries might be severe, but no one is going to take your word about the extent of your damages. You’re going to need to present extensive documentation to prove the severity of your injuries and other claims for compensation.
The impact on your quality of life and pain and suffering are likely to be the biggest parts of your claim. One of the ways that you can substantiate this claim is to begin keeping a diary just after the accident that details how you feel and the ways that your injuries have impacted you and your loved ones.
You’ll also need to keep track of days missed from work and other out-of-pocket expenses. In some cases, an expert witness might be called in to help place a value on your damages.
4. Promptly Follow Through with Medical Treatment
You have a responsibility to “mitigate your losses” in personal injury law. This means that you’re required to take reasonable actions to minimize the effects of your injury.
The first thing you should do after an accident is to seek immediate medical attention. But your treatment shouldn’t stop there. If you fail to follow up with the recommended medical care, the insurance company can allege that you intentionally made your injuries worse.
On the other hand, if a treatment isn’t working, you have the right to state this. The most appropriate action would be to return to the doctor and have them document this decision and even offer some alternatives.
5. Hire a Qualified Attorney Early
Car accident cases can be complex. There might be multiple parties at fault, a dispute over who was to blame, or issues regarding insurance coverage. In theory, you can handle this on your own, but why would you want to after such a traumatic event?
You’re already facing a host of issues that you didn’t have before the crash, and most people aren’t familiar with insurance contracts or personal injury law. With a skilled legal team in your corner, an insurance company might take your case much more seriously and make a fair settlement offer.
Contact an Experienced Mississippi Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you care about was injured because of the careless or reckless acts of another party, you deserve full and fair compensation. To ensure that you are in the best possible position to negotiate such an award, it’s essential to work with a seasoned personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can handle the entire negotiation process so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
At Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC, we have decades of combined legal experience representing the interests of injury victims throughout the Biloxi area. Our firm has a strong track record of success with all types of personal injury cases, and we will put our extensive resources to work on your behalf. Contact our office today at 1-855-558-2977 to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.