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How to Maximize Your Case Value After a Car Accident

Nobody in their right mind wants to get into a car accident. But accidents happen all the time in south Florida, leaving injuries, destruction, and disrupted lives in the aftermath.

When a car accident is the result of someone else’s negligence, you would at least expect someone to reimburse your medical expenses and other losses and provide funds to meet your needs in the future. Compensation to make up for the pain, suffering, and lost opportunities would be appropriate, too, since the accident turned your life upside down. So how can you maximize your case value after a car accident?

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Most car accident cases involve claims with at least one insurance company. Because insurance companies operate to make money rather than pay it out, they will often try to pay less than a claim is worth or deny payment altogether. But, on the other hand, they may offer a quick settlement and pressure you to accept or lose the offer. And they can be very persuasive!

It is best to speak with an experienced car accident attorney before answering questions from insurance company representatives. A car lawyer could protect you from bullying tactics and prevent mistakes that could interfere with your ability to recover.

Avoid These Mistakes After a Car Accident

To maximize your potential for recovery after an accident, it is maybe even more important to know what not to do after an accident:

Don’t Leave the Scene of the Accident.

Unless you are injured in the auto accident and removed by medical personnel, do not leave the scene of an accident until police allow you to do so. Leaving early could allow others involved in the crash to assert facts about your actions that are not true. Depending on the situation, you could even be charged with a felony offense if you leave the scene of an accident.

Don’t Say Anything That Could Make it Sound Like You’re Accepting Blame

The words “I’m sorry” come out automatically for many people as a polite response when something unfortunate happens. While you might mean that you’re sorry that the incident occurred, others can take “I’m sorry” to mean that you are sorry you did something to cause the accident. Avoid those words at all costs.

Try to say as little as possible after the accident so your words cannot be taken out of context and used against you.

Don’t Wait Too Long Before Contacting Your Insurance Company

It will be necessary to report the accident to your insurance company within the time period specified in your policy. You need to comply with that deadline. However, you only need to report the occurrence itself. Try to avoid making official statements, signing releases, or answering questions until after you have had a chance to speak to your accident attorney.

Don’t Make Guesses About What Happened

It is natural to try to figure out what led to an accident or what occurred to create certain types of damage or injuries. However, while you may speculate privately, do not report your speculations to the police, insurance companies, witnesses, or others involved in the collision. If your guess turns out to be wrong, you could be accused of lying. At the very least, your incorrect guess could make your other statements appear less credible.

Don’t Agree to a Settlement Before Your Case is Evaluated by an Attorney

Remember that insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for a claim, so they are not likely to offer fair value for your case until you show that you understand what your case is truly worth. A seasoned car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to demonstrate liability and the extent of harm suffered, as well as the future impact of your injuries. 

Then your attorney could compare the losses in your case with similar verdicts and settlements to determine the full value you should receive. Only after you have all the relevant information can you most effectively ascertain whether a settlement offer is fair.

Factors That Affect the Value of a Car Accident Case

To maximize the value of your claim after a car accident, you need to understand the factors that go into determining the value. These include:

In addition, the value of a claim may depend on whether an accident victim accepts a settlement or takes the case to trial. An accident victim could be awarded more compensation in court, but they take the risk of not receiving anything, and resolution of the case will take much longer.

What Happens if You Are Partially at Fault for Causing the Accident

Accident victims in Florida are fortunate to be able to take advantage of the state’s comparative fault rule. That means that even if they took some action that contributed to the cause of the accident or increased the severity of their injuries, they still have the ability to recover compensation from others responsible. However, the amount received will be reduced by a percentage to account for their own share of fault.

When a Lawyer May Be Able to Assist with Maximizing the Value of a Car Accident Claim

You don’t need a lawyer for every collision. However, an accident attorney can help maximize your claim in situations where there are severe injuries, or you may be facing a permanent disability of some type. Additionally, an attorney can be helpful when an accident involves multiple parties or when it is clear that someone else is at fault for causing the accident.

The best way to find out whether an attorney can help, of course, is to talk to a lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis so that you are not required to pay any legal fees unless you receive compensation.

Car accident attorneys have considerable experience in maximizing the value of claims, so it makes sense to put that experience to work. 

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