How to Negotiate a Settlement After a Car Accident
Posted in Car Accidents on August 15, 2017
After a car accident in Georgia, contacting a qualified Atlanta car accident attorney for legal representation is a wise decision. However, some people choose to represent their own interest in legal matters like these for several reasons. While this is not always advisable and can sometimes cause plaintiffs significant issues later, some cases are so straightforward that plaintiffs may successfully represent their claims and achieve satisfactory results.
Injured plaintiffs deserve fair compensation for their injuries and losses, and an attorney can certainly help secure that. However, some smaller cases could mean plaintiffs will pay more in legal fees than they actually win. On the other hand, some plaintiffs lose their chances at any amount of compensation due to a lack of legal acumen. If you are concerned with how to negotiate a settlement after a car accident, here is what you need to know.
Building Your Case
The main factor in deciding whether you should hire a lawyer is the complexity of the case. A very simple situation with clear results and adequate evidence will lead to a more successful result. More complex situations will likely require intervention from qualified legal professionals. To determine whether a lawyer is the best choice for your situation, start by gathering the evidence that proves the extent of your losses:
- Medical expenses. Obtain a copy of your medical report from your doctor that lists your injuries after the accident. This report should include your doctor’s prognosis and treatment plan. Gather any other documentation that proves the extent of your treatment and its cost to you, including hospital bills, prescription receipts, and any other receipts pertaining to your medical care after an accident.
- Property damage. Take photos of all the damage to your car and other personal belongings. If you have to pay for any repairs or alternative transportation, keep your receipts for these things as well.
- Lost income. Obtain proof of the amount of wages you lost or vacation/sick time you used after the accident. Car accident victims can sometimes claim compensation for lost income caused by an accident.
Once you gather the evidence necessary to prove your losses, you can issue a demand letter to the defendant in your case with the settlement amount. In some cases, defendants may attempt to pay less by rejecting this first settlement offer and providing a counter-offer. Negotiations may take time, but if you’re considering representing yourself and forgoing legal counsel, your case is likely open-and-shut, with minimal room for the defendant to argue for a lower settlement amount.
Know When to Seek Help
While some people have had tremendous success handling their own car accident lawsuits, others quickly find that the legal world is far more complex than they expected. A case that appears straightforward at first can quickly escalate into a complicated legal battle with multiple parties. In these situations, seeking reliable legal representation from a professional Atlanta personal injury lawyer with experience in car accidents is the best choice. Attorneys have the legal training and experience to explore the avenues of compensation open to car accident victims and will know how to negotiate a settlement from a position of strength.