Car accidents are an unfortunate reality. Even the most attentive and cautious drivers have no control over the actions of their fellow drivers, meaning they can suffer an auto accident injury at any time. Recovering from an auto accident in Riverside County can be a long and complicated process, as you cope with your physical injuries and face costly medical bills, lost wages, and other unexpected expenses stemming from the accident. As overwhelmed as you may feel, it’s essential to recognize that you are never alone during this stressful time. Working with an experienced Temecula auto accident lawyer is a great way to ensure you recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Below are some crucial things you should know about the car accident settlement process so you can maximize the amount of compensation you can recover.
Navigating the Car Accident Settlement Process in California
Under California law, auto accident victims have the right to seek compensation to help cover the unanticipated costs associated with the incident. The compensation you receive can be used to cover expenses like medical bills, prescription medication costs, physical therapy bills, and lost wages. Additionally, accident victims who develop mental and emotional conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may be able to recover compensation to assist with these costs.
Building a Successful Auto Accident Claim
You’ll want to make your auto accident claim as strong as possible to ensure you recover a fair and favorable amount of compensation for your injuries. Make sure you visit your doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if you don’t believe your injuries are severe enough to warrant medical attention. Providing the insurance company with documentation from a medical professional showing that you took your physical health seriously and showcasing the nature and extent of your injuries is critical in building a successful claim. You should also contact law enforcement at the scene so the responding officer can compile a police report. The information included in this report may prove useful in showing that the accident was not your fault.
Communicating With Insurance Adjusters
One of the trickiest aspects of the auto accident claims process is communicating with insurance adjusters. Although an insurance adjuster may claim to have your best interests at heart, you must remember that their top priority is saving the insurance company money. Unfortunately, this means they may use underhanded tactics in an attempt to undermine or discredit your claim. They aim to pay you as little as possible, so keep this in mind when communicating with them. In fact, many auto accident victims are so overwhelmed by this aspect of the recovery process that they entrust an experienced car accident attorney to step in and handle these conversations on their behalf, allowing them to focus more on their physical recovery.
Responding to the Initial Settlement Offer
It takes time to obtain the compensation you need to support your auto accident recovery. When you finally receive a settlement offer, your first instinct may be to accept it immediately to access the funds as soon as possible. However, taking the initial settlement offer is not always in your best interest. Here are a few things to consider when facing an initial settlement offer.
You Are Not Obligated to Accept an Initial Settlement Offer
Many auto accident victims do not realize they can reject an initial settlement offer and push for a more equitable settlement. You may feel pressured to accept the offer or risk forfeiting the change to recover any type of compensation. It’s essential to recognize that initial settlement offers are not “now or never” agreements. Unfortunately, many insurance companies assume that accident victims will fail to recognize their right to further negotiate a more favorable settlement offer. Accepting an initial offer often causes you to lose out on the total amount of compensation your claim is worth.
You Have the Power to Negotiate a More Favorable Settlement
An initial settlement offer is just that—the first offer. Most insurance companies deliberately issue a lowball settlement offer, hoping that you will accept it out of desperation or because you are unaware of your right to negotiate a more equitable settlement. However, by rejecting the offer and pushing for a more favorable settlement, you will likely find that the insurance company is willing to work with you to make a better offer. Insurance companies want to avoid litigation as much as possible, so they tend to engage in negotiations with auto accident victims to keep the matter out of court.
How a Trusted Murrieta Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Coping with the aftermath of an auto accident injury in Southern California can be overwhelming and stressful. When you enlist the guidance of a knowledgeable and dedicated attorney, you can feel more empowered and supported during the auto accident claims process. Your lawyer will answer your questions, address your concerns, and negotiate a fair settlement offer on your behalf so you can move forward with confidence.
If you need help pursuing compensation following an auto accident in Temecula or Murrieta, call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320.