Car Accident Liability: Negotiating For Your Fair Share

When it comes to car accident injuries, the amount you may be entitled to is definitely not set in stone. Determining the amount you are entitled to get and how to go about getting it can be a bit complex, but learning a bit about the process should help ease your fears and reduce stress over the unknown. While it's best to place your case in the hands of personal injury attorney, knowing what's going on with your case is important as well. Read on to learn more about what you are owed and the art of negotiating for it.

What Is Owed to You?

You might be surprised at what you can get as a result of your accident, and not knowing what you are entitled to is a big mistake. All the ways the accident has negatively affected your life are considered damages, and each damage equates to a dollar amount. For example:

1. Pain and suffering: This form of damage is a combination of the dollar amount of your medical expenses and the general misery the accident has caused you to suffer. All of the discomfort and pain from your physical injuries, the emotional damage from anxiety and stress and the way it has affected your life negatively are considered pain and suffering. This category doesn't leave your loved ones out; they may be entitled to loss of consortium.

2. Medical expenses: While the insurance carrier will likely take care of medical expenses without you having to file, filing suit will ensure that you never have to pay any uncovered expenses from your own pocket and it allows you to get compensation for travel to and from medical treatment.

3. Lost wages: Even if you have paid time off, you can get reimbursed for any time you missed work as well as any missed opportunities for career advancement.

Negotiating for Your Compensation

If you find that the initial offer from the insurance company is far from adequate, you may need to begin negotiations for a better amount. Your attorney will evaluate your damages and form a ballpark figure of compensation to seek, and in some cases a demand letter is sent to the other side. To get an idea of how the process works, see below:

1. Negotiations can begin with a demand offer from you or a low-ball offer from the insurance company. Never simply accept the initial offer without knowing what your bottom line amount is and what your case is worth; the other side is counting on your desperation and lack of knowledge. 

2. Many counteroffers and back and forth negotiations are to be expected, and this can often take time to be resolved.

3. In some cases you may end up with the insurance adjuster for the other side holding firm. If so, consider whether or not there is an aspect of the case that might lower their liability. For example, you may share some of the blame for the wreck, which could reduce your compensation.

Negotiating for personal injury damages can be difficult and stressful, so allow your car accident lawyer to take the lead and get you what you deserve.