Victims of serious car
accidents in Mississippi should be fully compensated for their injuries.
Unfortunately, insurance companies and their defense firms will use every
measure possible to undervalue an auto accident settlement.
At Reeves & Mestayer,
PLLC, we have seen firsthand how financially devastating serious injuries can
be to accident victims and their families. We work with clients to ensure the
highest recovery possible, and we’ve identified several tips for getting the
best results when negotiating settlements for car accident claims.
1. Slow It Down
Your accident might have
happened in the blink of an eye, but don’t expect for the resolution of your
case to be quick. In fact, it would be a terrible idea to settle your claim too
The full extent of your
injuries and damages may not be evident for many months, and you can easily
shortchange yourself by settling a case too quickly. It’s not uncommon for
insurance companies to offer quick and easy settlements. Agreeing to these is
never in your best interests.
Instead, take the time to
get the medical treatment you need after a serious accident. Once you’ve
stabilized, you can then think about settling your case for a fair amount.
2. Don’t Accept First Offers
Again, be incredibly
suspicious of any insurance adjuster that approaches you with a
“one-time” settlement offer. These companies realize that most
laypeople don’t know how to place a fair value on an insurance claim.
This is a negotiation
process, so the first offer from an insurance company is generally far too low.
If you’re unsure about what is the right next move, you can always consult with
an attorney about your case.
3. Get Your Documentation in Order
Your injuries might be
severe, but no one is going to take your word about the extent of your damages.
You’re going to need to present extensive documentation to prove the severity
of your injuries and other claims for compensation.
The impact on your
quality of life and pain and suffering are likely to be the biggest parts of
your claim. One of the ways that you can substantiate this claim is to begin
keeping a diary just after the accident that details how you feel and the ways
that your injuries have impacted you and your loved ones.
You’ll also need to keep
track of days missed from work and other out-of-pocket expenses. In some cases,
an expert witness might be called in to help place a value on your damages.
4. Promptly Follow Through with Medical Treatment
You have a responsibility
to “mitigate your losses” in personal injury law. This means that
you’re required to take reasonable actions to minimize the effects of your
The first thing you
should do after an accident is to seek immediate medical attention. But your
treatment shouldn’t stop there. If you fail to follow up with the recommended
medical care, the insurance company can allege that you intentionally made your
On the other hand, if a
treatment isn’t working, you have the right to state this. The most appropriate
action would be to return to the doctor and have them document this decision
and even offer some alternatives.
5. Hire a Qualified Attorney Early
Car accident cases can be
complex. There might be multiple parties at fault, a dispute over who was to
blame, or issues regarding insurance coverage. In theory, you can handle this
on your own, but why would you want to after such a traumatic event?
You’re already facing a
host of issues that you didn’t have before the crash, and most people aren’t
familiar with insurance contracts or personal injury law. With a skilled legal
team in your corner, an insurance company might take your case much more
seriously and make a fair settlement offer.
Contact an Experienced Mississippi Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you
care about was injured because of the careless or reckless acts of another
party, you deserve full and fair compensation. To ensure that you are in the
best possible position to negotiate such an award, it’s essential to work with
a seasoned personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can handle the
entire negotiation process so that you can concentrate on recovering from your
At Reeves & Mestayer,
PLLC, we have decades of combined legal experience representing the interests
of injury victims throughout the Biloxi area. Our firm has a strong track
record of success with all types of personal injury cases, and we will put our
extensive resources to work on your behalf. Contact our office today at
1-855-558-2977 to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.