Negotiating a Car Accident Claim in Austin TX
After an Accident
Say you are driving down the highway when all of the sudden, you are rear-ended by another vehicle. The driver that hit you was not paying attention to the flow of traffic because they were texting while driving. However, the driver of that vehicle is claiming that you slammed on your breaks too quickly. What happens at this point?
Now is the time to file a car accident claim. Regardless of your insurance provider, you will need to quickly report the accident. Waiting too long to file a claim can result in a denied claim. As soon as possible after your collision, you must report your accident to your insurance provider.
Understanding the Claims Process
You will be assigned to a claims adjuster who will ask you more questions about your accident, obtain information from the other driver's insurance company and will also assess and explain your car insurance policy to you. All car insurance policies are different, which means that you will be better off understanding the terms of your policy. This way, you will not be caught off guard when it comes to the settlement that you are offered. There are eight major types of car insurance offered. Some of those are required and some of those are optional, depending on where you live. The first major type is liability insurance. Monthly premiums paid to a policy with liability coverage means that you will be covered in the event that you cause or contribute to an accident. This can cover medical expenses, damaged property and even court fees.
Collision insurance pays for all damages that your vehicle sustained. Comprehensive insurance covers all other damages that your vehicle sustains outside of damage inflicted by other vehicles. For example, vandalism, hail damage or theft can be covered under this line. Medical coverage is the pays for your medical expenses regardless of whether you or the other driver was at fault. There is also PIP (personal injury protection), uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist and rental reimbursement automobile insurance coverage. Depending on what your policy includes, your claim adjuster will propose a settlement amount to cover your damages. Sometimes this amount is adequate to cover your costs and other times it is not.
Can I negotiate my settlement offer?
You are absolutely entitled to negotiate the settlement that your insurance company offers you. Keep in mind though that you must have good reason to do so. Stay informed, and make sure you fully understand what you are entitled to under your policy. Also, keep track of all expenses that you incurred because of your car accident. This can include medical bills, correspondence with your insurance company, cost of a replacement vehicle and even lost wages for any time you had to take off of work to recover. In a battle of David and Goliath proportions, it may seem as if you have little hope going up against your insurance company. Do not let this intimidate you.
You can write a demand letter for a higher amount as long as you have calculated what you believe your claim should be worth. This process is best carried out with the assistance of an Austin car accident attorney. What our law firm is prepared to do is to investigate your claim, as well as your policy, and help you file all the necessary forms to try and maximize your recovery. You shouldn't have to settle for any less than what is entitled to you under the terms of your policy. For help negotiating your car accident claim, contact our firm today to speak with a Personal Injury Attorney!