Car accidents are stressful events with numerous negative consequences in your life. Some of them have to do with all the effort you must make to pay medical or car repair bills. Negotiating with the insurance company and getting them to approve your claim isn’t a walk in the park either. Insurance companies are profit-oriented businesses and have an interest in settling for the smallest amount possible since it shows in their profit margin. You, on the other hand, have to make sure that you won’t have to pay for medical expenses or other costs out of your own pocket, especially if someone else is at fault for the accident. That’s why it’s critical to get in touch with a reputable St. Louis car accident attorney before embarking on this process.
Let’s imagine that you’ve contacted the insurance company to let them know about the accident. Shortly after, they call you back with an offer. Don’t take it, even though bills are piling up and you are desperate to pay them. Quite often, this offer is less than what you deserve and only represents a starting point for negotiations.
So, what should you do when you are presented with an offer you see as unfair?
Negotiate Further with the Insurance Company
Before you start thinking of other ways of solving a dispute, begin by negotiating with the insurance company. This is the point where you should speak with an experienced attorney if you haven’t done so already. The methods of calculating a fair amount for the settlement need to be based on hard evidence, and an experienced attorney will help you set realistic expectations.
Hire a Mediator to Solve the Dispute
Mediation means hiring a third party to overlook the negotiations and get the two sides to reach an agreement or conclude that they cannot agree. A mediator does not have the authority to impose a certain outcome for the dispute, but they can moderate the discussions between you and the insurance company, facilitating the communication.
Arbitration, on the other hand, is a legally binding method of solving a dispute. A neutral arbitrator will analyze the evidence and declarations of both parties and decide an outcome for the dispute. The arbitrator must be agreed on by both parties. This step is usually taken before going to court to avoid a costly lawsuit for both you and the insurance company.
File a Lawsuit
If all the other methods fail to help you reach an agreement, you can file a lawsuit against the insurance company. Be certain to do so only when you have the means to prove that the settlement is unfair or if you suspect that the insurance company acts in bad faith.
In either case, reaching a fair settlement can be time and money-consuming, and it is best done with the support of a St. Louis auto accident attorney with experience in these types of claims.
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