Negotiating a car accident settlement can be tricky for an inexperienced person; you can easily end up with less than you deserve if you aren't careful. If you are gearing up for an accident claim, here are some of the mistakes to avoid if you want to maximize your claim:
Giving a Recorded Statement Without an Attorney
Giving a recorded statement may not seem like such a bad idea, especial if you know you are "telling the truth." Unfortunately, it can mess up your negotiation plans if it turns out that you misquoted something or omitted something vital when giving the statement. The insurance company may seek to confine your negotiations within the parameters of this statement, which may limit your recovery. Only give a recorded statement after the approval of your attorney.
Lying When You Think You Can Get Away With It
The moment you are caught lying, and its best to assume that you will be caught, is the moment your case will start going downhill. In fact, the adjuster will doubt all your statements after that, which will prolong the negotiation timetable. Therefore, stick to the truth even if it seems to be hurting your case; credibility is very important in accident negotiations. In fact, don't even exaggerate your injuries or damages.
Giving Your Opinions on the Accident
As a car accident victim, your role is to stick to the facts as far as you know them; don't give your opinion on the issue. This is because your opinion may turn out to be flawed, and the flaw may hurt your case. Stick to undeniable facts such as where the accident occurred, the injuries you have suffered, the date of the accident, the car you were driving, and such like things.
Assuming That Your Case Will Settle
Settling an injury case outside the courtroom is saves you both time and resources (such as legal fees); in fact, most cases settle before trial. However, you shouldn't chase an out-of-court settlement at the expenses of your damages. In fact, you shouldn't assume that your case is headed for an out-of-court settlement. Making such an assumption will cause you to let your guard down, which means you will fall into an ambush when the case doesn't settle and you aren't ready for a lawsuit. At the back of your mind, you should always know that a settlement is just one of the options of getting compensated and that you can always proceed to a lawsuit.
If you've been in an accident and would like more information on what to do next, contact a local auto accident attorney.