If you are like many people, you don’t want to hire a lawyer after a minor accident. Instead, you’d like to get the largest settlement for your car accident on your own without a lawyer. We understand that many people want to settle their insurance claim independently, but they don’t know where to start.
In today’s blog post, we share our 4-part video series that will walk you through the basics of making a personal injury claim. Vermont car accident attorney Drew Palcsik will walk you through the process in each video. We will cover how to prove injuries, prove fault, collect important documents, and submitting them to the insurance company.
By the end of today’s blog, you will understand the basics of making your insurance claim.
How To Get An Accident Settlement Without A Lawyer Mini-Series
Providing Proof of Injury
In our first video Drew asks how badly were you hurt, and how easy is it to prove your injuries?
Generally speaking, the more obvious the injury, the more straightforward the healing process, and the quicker your recovery, the easier it will be to handle the injury claim on your own.
Bumps and bruises, scratches, and cuts. Feeling sore for a few days, but then generally getting better within a week or so. These are cases most injury lawyers aren’t going to take on, and you might wind up representing yourself. Even a broken bone that heals up without surgery is probably going to fall into the category of claims you could handle on your own.
However, if you find you have an injury that leaves you in pain, and the doctors stumped you may not want to settle right away. Drew covers types of injuries you may want to consult a lawyer so you don’t make a hasty decision for a lifelong injury
Providing Proof of Fault
In part two, Drew looks at the issue of proving fault for the crash.
The more obvious it is that another driver caused the crash, the easier it will be to establish fault. Fault is another way of saying negligence and it’s important to winning your case. Remember, if you want to win your accident settlement without a lawyer, unless someone, not you, was guilty of negligent behavior.
In some cases, you might have a conversation with an insurance adjuster, and he or she will tell you that they’re accepting fault for the crash. That’s good, but it’s not the whole story.
Assigning fault for the accident is important, but on its own, it’s not enough to win a case. You, as the injured person, have to prove three separate things. Number one, that someone else is at fault for the crash. Number two, that you were injured and have endured pain and suffering. And number three, that your injuries were caused by the crash and not something else.
Organizing the Car Crash Claim
In part three, we talk about organizing your file, the documents, photos, and statements you’ll want to have in order to make the strongest case for the most money. You may not be sure how to organize the claim and get it ready for the insurance company so you can get the largest accident settlement without an attorney.
Assuming your injuries after a crash are minor. The injuries resolve on their own without treatment or maybe one or two chiropractic treatments. A few months later, and you have no symptoms at all.
Let’s also assume that you were hurt in a rear-end collision at a stop sign, a situation in which it’s almost always going to be the case that the other driver is at fault.
You need to know that insurance companies base almost all of their decisions on the records. Drew covers which documents will help support your claim and ensure you get the best outcome possible.
Presenting the Claim to the Insurance Company
Finally, Drew discusses how to make the case to get paid fairly by the insurance company.
Presenting your claim to the insurance company is what lawyers call, making a settlement demand. There are three key things to keep in mind when considering how to make a settlement demand.
In our final video Drew shares how policy limits shape the maximum amount of insurance available. He then covers how liens can play a role in your total settlement. Finally, he shares how to estimate a value for your claim.
While it’s unlikely, the insurance company will simply pay the number you request in the settlement demand, it will give you a good starting place for negotiation. Make sure that you ask for enough money to leave yourself room to negotiate, pay off your bills and still have something left for yourself.
We hope you found this mini-series on getting the best accident settlement without a lawyer helpful. Feel free to reach out to Burlington, Vermont car accident lawyer Drew Palcsik, to talk about the specifics of your case