Car Accident Settlement Explained: What To Expect

Going to court usually takes a lot of time, effort, and money. This is the reason why you may want to, with the help of an auto accident lawyer, settle with the insurance company or the at-fault or negligent party.

The Process

An auto accident attorney can counsel you on a settlement's merits and help you navigate the process. You can agree to a settlement before going to court or even in the middle of a court case. 

1. Sending a Demand Letter

A demand letter is an official document for which you will need the expertise of a car accident lawyer to draft and write. This letter has three main components: a presentation of the relevant facts, a list of damages, and a statement of fault. Any photo and video evidence from the accident scene, statements from witnesses, and financial statements will help your lawyer to better present the facts of your demand.

On matters of compensation, your letter must be concise about your expectations. It should spell out the expected settlement, both monetary and non-monetary, as well as the deadline within which these expectations should be met.

2. Getting a Response

The insurance company or the at-fault party in your car accident case can respond to your demand letter in any one of several ways.

  • Accept Your Demands and Pay

This is the most desirable outcome, as you will be getting exactly what you ask for in the settlement. Your car accident lawyer will liaise with the lawyer acting for the other party to ensure you receive your compensation, and the matter will be considered resolved.

  • Make a Counter-Offer

An experienced car accident attorney can tell you when you are being low-balled. Your lawyer should keep the negotiations going until you get a reasonable offer. If you cannot agree on such an offer, you can always go ahead and take the matter to court.

  • Fail to Respond

The other party may fail to respond to your demand letter because of any one or more of several reasons. Whatever the reason, your car accident lawyer can send a follow-up letter and hope to get a response.

  • Deny Your Claim

This may be the worst outcome, but it is also very rare, except for cases where the other party feels you have insufficient or no evidence. Your car accident attorney can initiate further dialogue for negotiations or take up the matter in court.

Pursuing a settlement follows a process. You can expect a good outcome when you hire a car accident lawyer who has a proven track record with settlements.