Negotiating Your Car Accident Injury Settlement on Your Own

Many car accident victims will try to negotiate the settlement themselves. Here are some reasons this may not be the best idea.

st. louis man negotiating car accident claim over the phone

Car accident victims in Missouri have a legal right to seek compensation from the driver that has caused them harm. A car collision can cause injuries, property damage, and extreme struggles, so the Missouri law recognizes that you should not have to bear all of the costs if you were not at fault.

To get compensated, you will generally need to file a compensation claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Most car accident injury disputes do not make it to court unless the other driver is uninsured or there are criminal charges involved (like if they intentionally hit you with their car).

Many car accident victims will try to negotiate the settlement themselves. Here are some reasons this may not be the best idea.

You May Be Unfamiliar With the Law

Missouri laws can be rather complicated. Even if you get through it and manage to understand it, it still may prove difficult to know how the law applies and what its limitations are.

Insurance companies, on the other hand, have experience with the law and generally have a team of experienced attorneys working on their behalf, which automatically puts you at a disadvantage. They may even accuse you of partially being at-fault for the accident, which could give them cause to lower the compensation amount.

Negotiations Experience

A major part of car accident claims often has nothing to do with the law but has a lot to do with negotiating. For instance, a common trick insurance companies use is to present a low-ball initial offer as soon as they can, and try to convince victims to accept it. In this case, you’ll have to hold your ground and negotiate a higher settlement.

Unfortunately, many car accident victims accept this initial offer because they need money to cover their expenses, and may be led to believe they will not get more.

The Process Could Drag on Even More

Insurance companies are in no rush to speed up the claim, but they do know you are in a rush to receive compensation. Because of this, they may take advantage of your lack of experience and drag on the process as much as they can by asking for more time to review documents or even more evidence. They do it in hopes that you’ll just accept any offer because you need the money fast.

Of course, you can fight back their attempts to stall the process, but you may find it difficult to hold your ground against a team of adjusters.

What Can You Do?

As the victim of a car accident, it is in your best interests to get in touch with an experienced St. Louis auto accident lawyer for help. They can build a solid case and negotiate a settlement on your behalf, while also preventing the insurance adjusters from pulling any tricks. This will allow you to give your full attention to your recovery.

Updated: August 13, 2021