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Car Accident Information Center

Car Accident Lawyers

Tips for Getting the Best Auto Accident Claim Settlement


No one expects an auto accident to happen to them. Unfortunately, more than three million people a  year in the United States will sustain injuries in a car accident. If you or someone you care about is injured, you should know what to do to increase your chances of receiving the settlement claim that you deserve.

  • Contact a personal injury auto accident attorney—Do not accept a settlement agreement without speaking to an auto accident personal injury attorney to discuss the facts of your claim. This step is especially crucial if you have sustained severe or debilitating injuries. An experienced auto accident personal injury attorney will know what to expect from insurance companies and can advise you on the best way to get the full amount you deserve.
  • Ask about the statute of limitations--Know the statute of limitations for your case and do not wait too long to file. In addition to the statute of limitations, waiting to file can make it seem like you did not have a strong case. If your injuries are relatively mild, waiting could make it seem like you were not going to file and changed your mind because you needed money.
  • Preserve evidence—It is possible that you may have to go to trial to get the settlement you deserve. If it comes to trial, preserving evidence immediately after the accident will work strongly in your favor. Even if you able to settle your claim without going to court, evidence will help support your claim when dealing with the insurance company.
  • Take pictures, or have someone else take photos of the accident scene as soon as possible after the accident.
  • Take photos of any injuries you sustained during the accident and take photos, with date stamps, of the healing process of said injuries.
  • Attempt to collect the contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
  • Get a copy of all medical records related to the injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Get a copy of the police report as soon as possible.
  • Understand the full extent of your injuries—If you sustained an injury in the claim, you should understand what that injury means for your long-term prognosis. Some injuries can appear mild, but over time will leave to degenerative issues that can impact your ability to do certain activities. Make sure that you have all of your medical records since the accident, and have a discussion with your doctor about your long-term prognosis and possible complications.
  • Have a settlement amount in mind—Based on the damages, the amount of fault assigned to the other driver and any injuries you sustained, decide on a fair settlement amount. Knowing the amount you hope to receive will help you in negotiating with the insurance company. Do some basic research and make sure that the settlement amount you want is fair and reasonable for the damages sustained.
  • Do not accept the first settlement offer—Insurance companies are notorious for making low-ball initial offers. A significant number of people take the first offer, saving insurance companies millions of dollars a year. If the offer is reasonable but lower than you wanted, make a counter-offer. Emphasize the facts of your case in clear and concise language. Hopefully, you and the insurance company can come to a satisfactory agreement.
  • Be patient during the settlement phase—It can be difficult if you are injured, unable to work and have bills piling up. However, to get the best compensation, you may have to reject the first or even the second offer. Insurance companies do not move quickly, and in part, this is done to drive people to accept lowball offers because they feel they have no other option. Be willing to go the distance to get the fair settlement you deserve.
  • Keep information about your case off of social media—The other side can often get access to your social media accounts, even if they are set to private. If you are claiming debilitating injuries, but a Facebook post shows you doing a fun physical activity, it can ruin your case. The safest measure is to limit your social media interaction until your case is ultimately settled.
  • Make a good impression—An insurance company will make an offer based on what they think a jury might do at trial. Acting polite and respectful at all times will make you more appealing to a jury, and therefore, more of a threat to an insurance company. Your mannerisms and how you dress may seem like a small thing, but it can impact the settlement.
  • Trust your auto accident attorney—Your auto accident attorney will work to get you the best possible resolution for your case. If you do not feel comfortable with your auto accident attorney, you are free to get another opinion. Attorneys know the judges and laws of the area where you have filed your suit. If they advise against going to trial, trust their judgment. They have experience with auto accident personal injury cases and should help you set realistic expectations. Clients have often heard of injured parties receiving substantial settlements and want to push for more than is realistic given their injuries and the strength of their case.

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