How Do I Maximize My Car Accident Settlement?

Clients often ask me how they can receive the fullest compensation following a car accident. Several factors can determine the value of a settlement that a negligent party or insurance company will offer. 

Car Accident Settlement From our experience, the largest personal injury verdicts and settlements often involve grave and life-changing injuries. Some common examples of these injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, and, unfortunately, death. 

Injuries caused by car accidents can be consequential and can permanently impact you or your loved one’s life. That’s why hiring an experienced San Antonio car accident lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement to help you receive full and fair compensation due to someone’s negligence.

Let’s look at some of the ways and steps you can take to maximize a car accident settlement or claim. 

Gather Evidence

The first several hours after a crash can be crucial. If you can, consider writing down everything you remember about the crash or taking pictures of the scene. These can be used as evidence in your case. 

A few things to consider when documenting a car accident may include: 

  • The time and location of the accident
  • The weather at the time 
  • Other road conditions, such as light or heavy traffic, nearby construction, etc…
  • Witness names and their contact information 
  • The type of vehicle(s) that were involved in the crash
  • Insurance information from drivers involved in the accident 

Give A Statement For the Police Report 

Police will sometimes respond to car accidents. It’s generally helpful to provide as much information to authorities because it may provide more information about the crash and whether any fault was determined.

You can request the police report after it is completed. This is also an important step to take if you were incapacitated in a crash and were unable to gather evidence.

Seek Medical Treatment Immediately 

If you delay treatment, insurance companies may try to deny that the at-fault party is responsible for your injuries. In some cases, they may even argue that your injuries were the result of a separate event. 

By getting medical treatment early, you may be able to calculate the cost of damages you may be owed in a settlement or claim. 

Consider Future Medical Costs

Even if you are unsure about the extent of your injuries, keeping track of needed medical treatment can be added to your claim or factored into a settlement. 

For example, head and back injuries may appear mild at first but worsen over time. Having medical records of these can help you recoup immediate medical visits and treatment, as well as any future treatment, surgeries, or rehabilitation you may require.

Depending on the relationship you have with your doctor, they also may be able to provide testimony about the extent of your injuries, what ongoing treatment you may require, and that they were the result of a car accident. 

Make a List of All Damages (and Keep Your Receipts)

Along with keeping track of the amount you’ve paid or expect to pay for medical bills, adding up the amount of tangible damages is important to ensure you’re receiving the fullest possible compensation. 

These are what are known as economic damages, and following a car accident can include: 

Lost wages: If you missed work due to your injuries, keeping track of how much income you were unable to earn can factor into a claim. Severe injuries that prevent you from returning to work can also be added as damages.  

Property Damage: Following a car accident, your vehicle is likely to have been damaged. Body shop and mechanic receipts can also be added to the compensation you are seeking.

Don’t Forget to Document Other Damages

Along with economic damages, you may be able to seek compensation for what are called non-economic damages. These are more difficult to assign a dollar amount to because they are subjective. Nevertheless, they can factor into settlements or your total claim. 

Some common examples of these damages include: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life 
  • Permanent disfigurement 
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium, sexual functions, or companionship

Documenting these damages can be done through journaling these impacts or changes you’ve noticed even months after an accident. You may want to include dates of headaches, emotional challenges, loss of interest in hobbies, mood changes, frustrations, and other feelings related to your recovery. 

Consider Hiring a Lawyer to Negotiate Your Settlement 

Setting a personal injury claim can save you money and time by not bringing your claim to court. Trials and possible appeals processes are expensive and can take months or years to complete before you receive payment for damages. 

While you might be eager to accept an insurance adjuster’s first offers, you may be missing out on compensation because you have yet to determine the full extent of your damages. Even if an insurance company offers to pay you through an out-of-court settlement, you may want to run it past a lawyer first. 

But lawyers are expensive, right? In some cases, yes. But if you suffered serious injuries in a car accident due to someone’s negligence, an experienced lawyer may be able to negotiate a higher settlement amount. This can either be by factoring in other damages you may have missed while bringing a fair and full counteroffer to the table.

At Khattar Law, PC, Our caring and committed team of attorneys will fight to hold parties accountable for their negligence so you have the best chance of receiving maximum payment for your car accident injuries.