If you are on a budget, you can cut down on the legal fees by dealing with your own insurance claim settlement. However, make sure that you are well prepared for anything that is thrown your way. It may not be easy at first, but with a little practice, you will become a pro.
While it is critical to comprehend what you are getting yourself into, it’s consistently conceivable to deal with your very own insurance claim settlement without employing a lawyer. Furthermore, in situations where you face a moderately minor loss and the opposite party’s shortcoming is truly evident, it might be more appropriate to arrange your own insurance claim settlement, instead of giving more than 33% of your award to a legal counselor.
In the given article, we will give you some tips and tricks to determine the damage you face and find out the value of your case. Moreover, will also give you advice on what to do when you settle an insurance claim without a lawyer. Once you figure out all the primary issues such as proof of liability, your own probable negligence, and whether an insurance coverage is available or not, you will be completely ready and equipped with the knowledge to settle your own insurance claim.
How to negotiate a settlement without a lawyer?
A lot of the smaller car accident cases can be worked upon and resolved outside the court with an insurance adjuster.
It is essential to keep in mind that your claims will not be recognized or your losses paid for by the adjuster. However, this does not have to remain the case as long as you provide evidence that their insured is to be held responsible for the setback. It does not matter if you have a lawyer as your representative or not, you are still pressed down by the same burden of being obliged to prove fault.
If, during the time of discussing your accident claim, you are able to justify that the contact between the two vehicles was not your fault but that of the other driver and his/her negligence, then you’ll be in a very strong and secure position.
You’ll need to prove that the driver at fault:
- Had a certain responsibility to drive safely in order to keep others from harm’s way.
- Was careless and inattentive (they either did something wrong or ignored something that any sensible driver would do under the given situation, e.g. running a red light)
- Was directly responsible for your injuries through their irresponsible actions (e.g. ignoring the red light and consequently crashing in your car, hence your neck injuries)
- You endured multiple damages, like medical costs and car repair expenses.
How to calculate the insurance settlement amount?
In majority of the personal injury cases, you’ll come across two types of damages the most:
- Special Damages – ones where exact calculation could be carried out, and
- General Damages – ones where exact calculation was not possible
Damages capable of exact calculation
The damages capable of exact calculation, also known as “special” damage, are inclusive of property damage (which involves the bills needed to restore or replace your car incase of an accident), lost incomes and lost income limit, medical expenses, and other financial deficits owing to your accident. Such casualties can be accurately calculated because they can typically be summed up.
Damages not capable of exact calculation
Damages not capable of exact calculations are called general damages. These general damages are inclusive of any physical suffering and/or mental agony that you might have had to face as a result of your wounds. There are no specific directions for finding out the settlement value of an injured person’s physical pain and mental suffering. Thus, these sorts of damages are not capable of exact calculation.
Insurance settlement calculator
In order to negotiate a settlement for an insurance claim, you must calculate an appropriate amount of money that you would accept in order to drop your legal claim. A lot of the insurance companies and injury lawyers depend on one formula or another to get some sort of a value for settlement talks. This is also true for a physical injury claim in a car accident case, and/or in the event of any other personal injury.
A popular formula makes use of a multiplier and your medical costs to figure out an approximate value of non-economic damages, in other words the amount for your physical and mental pain and suffering. This amount is added to your economic losses such as medical bills and property damage etc, to determine a basic cost from which you can then negotiate. Many insurance settlement calculators are available online and can help you find out these costs.
How to settle an insurance claim without a lawyer?
There are certain steps that need to be followed when you are planning to settle an insurance claim without a lawyer.
It is important that you take a look at these steps in order to be on top of your game. Given below are the things that you must do before settling an insurance claim without a lawyer:
- Get a copy of the police report especially in case of a car accident
- Get copies of all records and bills
- Take photos of any damage to your property, the scene when the incident took place, and any injuries you might have acquired
- Get medical treatment as early as possible
- Use any personal injury protection coverage that you may have to pay the initial bills. You may use your health insurance after that
- Do not provide a recorded statement to the other person’s insurance company
- Ensure that you understand all the time constraints for your claim. Moreover, also know that the personal injury laws vary from state to state.
- Do not post anything about your accident on social media sites. This is because such data can be misinterpreted by the other person’s insurance company. Thus, it may affect your case or minimize your pain and suffering.
What should you do when negotiation claims fail?
You must always remember to negotiate your case with immense patience and composure. However, do not let the insurance claims agent get away with dirty tricks like repeatedly asking for the same medical records, or being unable to hold their insured accountable for an accident in which it was apparent that he was at fault for.
In case your negotiations have halted, you need to be aware of your state’s laws especially when it comes to injury cases. If you are unable to settle your claim or file a lawsuit before the deadline, you will lose your right to a reimbursement. The insurance claims agent is not responsible to tell you when the deadline is nearing or help you settle your claim on time.
In the event that the agent won’t arrange your fender bender guarantee in accordance with some basic honesty or attempts to stick a portion of the fault for the accident on you, you ought to address an individual personal injury lawyer about your alternatives. In some cases, just hiring a personal injury lawyer is enough to get a obstinate and unyielding insurance claims agent to give an acceptable settlement offer.
A lot of the personal injury lawyers do not charge for you for the first consultation. Thus you wouldn’t have to pay any cost to find out how a professional lawyer may be of help to you.
If you are fortunate in settling your insurance claim without the need of a lawyer, the insurance company will have you sign a release document. After you have done this and also accepted payment, you cannot put forth any other claim against the other party. This applies even in a situation where you find out that you may require more medical treatment. Thus, it is necessary for you to make full recovery before you decide to settle your insurance claims.
Now that you know of all the tiny details about how to settle an insurance claim without a lawyer, you are fully ready to take up your case. So, what are you waiting for? Go get your insurance claim now!