How to Settle Your Car Accident Claim

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UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonUPDATED: Jun 29, 2022Fact Checked

If your car accident claim arises from a small case with minor injuries, low medical bills, and no extenuating circumstances, then you may want to settle the claim yourself. If you’re determined to handle your car accident claim by yourself, then you will need to know what you need to do in order to get a fair settlement. Settling car accident claims is easier if you are prepared!

TIP:A word of caution if you are handling your own car accident claim: car insurance adjusters have the education and training required to value a car accident, and their job is to save money for the insurance company by settling car accident claims as quickly and as cheaply as possible. If you find yourself over your head, contact a car accident attorney for assistance.

Settling Your Car Accident Claim

When you settle a car accident claim, you will work with a claims adjuster hired by your insurance company. The claims adjuster will evaluate your claim and give you an initial settlement offer. Although the offer will likely be low, it is usually on the low side of a reasonable range. If you do not think the settlement offer is fair, you do not have to accept it. If you reject the offer, you begin the process of negotiating with your claims adjuster to increase the value of your settlement.

Throughout the car accident claims process, provide the adjuster with all of the information she has requested, along with any other documentation that might affect the value of the claim, so she can negotiate with you based on the best evidence that supports your position. Make sure you finished all treatment and have copies of all your bills and expenses incurred before you enter into car accident settlement discussions.

TIP:If you are handling the auto accident claim yourself, don’t rush! Time is not usually an issue unless the damage is serious, so go slowly and negotiate wisely. Don’t jump at the first offer. When negotiating come down very gradually, allowing the adjuster to come up.

Find Your Auto Accident Claim Value

Before you start negotiating, it is critical that you know how what your auto accident claim is worth. Add up all your bills, cost for any prescriptions, lost wages from work and any other cost you have incurred as a result of the auto accident. A good amount to ask for when settling your auto accident claim is usually two to three times your cost incurred, however, there are circumstances were you can get more. A consultation with an auto accident attorney will let give you an idea what you are entitled to receive. Most consultations are free and this free advice could be invaluable. Contact an accident attorney in your area for more advice.

TIP:When handling an auto accident claim for yourself the most important thing to know is when you should contact an attorney. A claim may start out straightforward, but get complex in a hurry. Knowing when to seek legal help can make a significant difference in how much money you recover.

Know How to Write an Insurance Demand Letter

If you would like settle your car accident claim alone, it would be prudent to draft an insurance demand letter that makes clear the reasons you should receive your full car accident claim amount. Attach all the supporting documents that prove the value of your car accident claim, and explain why each is important. You don’t need to be a great writer to draft a demand letter, and if you need assistance, click here for a sample auto insurance claim demand letter to send your claims adjuster.

If you have any questions about making an adequate demand, or writing a demand letter, click here to find an attorney in your area to assist your claim.

For more information about auto insurance claims, check out the following articles:

Get a FREE Case Evaluation From An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney.

Car Insurance Claim Process

What Is Your Car Insurance Claim Worth?

Negotiating Your Car Accident Insurance Settlement

Settling Your Car Insurance Claim & Demand Letters

How To Write A Demand Letter

How To Know When Your Car Insurance Settlement Offer Is Too Low

What To Do When Your Car Insurance Claim Is Denied

What To Know About Your Car Insurance Settlement Agreement

Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney?

More Articles About Settling A Car Insurance Claim

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

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