The accident has already caused you more inconvenience than you ever bargained for. It’s only natural you’d want to get the claims process over as quickly as possible, claiming the compensation you deserve and then moving on with your life.
Our car accident lawyers will handle your claim as efficiently and effectively as we can — but it’s also our responsibility to fight for the largest financial recovery that we can possibly recover under the circumstances.
In most cases, an auto injury claim results in an out-of-court settlement. However, we are always ready to bring our clients’ cases to trial if necessary.
Because a courtroom trial can take time, cause frustration, and require more significant litigation investment, settling outside of court can (in many cases) benefit everyone involved.
Below, we take a look at the auto injury claims process in West Virginia, how to get a car accident settlement, and how experienced legal representation can help.
The First Step: Be Careful When the Insurance Company Calls
If you’ve recently been injured in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, you’ll probably be hearing from the other driver’s insurance adjustor soon.
You need to be careful about the things you say when they call. In fact, the less you say, the better.
Insurance adjustors might seem friendly, but they’re representing the insurance company’s interests — not yours. Anything you say to them, even seemingly meaningless or harmless statements, can be misconstrued and used against you later.
Adjustors are actively looking for contradictions or “admissions” of fault. In some cases, they might even steer the conversation in a direction designed to trip you up. That’s why it is best to let an experienced lawyer handle the insurance companies for you.
The insurance adjustor might also try to pressure you into signing an early settlement agreement right away. Such offers can seem tempting in the moment because, after all, a settlement is exactly what you were hoping for. Money talks, and in the moment, taking an early settlement offer might seem like the fast-and-easy way out.
But remember: insurance adjustors aren’t paid to look out for you. If they’re making an offer early on, it might be for a lot less than you deserve.
Settlement offers usually require the injured party to promise they will never claim more money in relation to the same accident — and those agreements are (generally speaking) binding.
For that reason, the insurance company might hope it can “buy you off” with a lower-than-you-deserve settlement right away, heading off a larger payout down the road. Don’t fall for that trap without consulting an attorney first.
The Next Step: Talk to a Lawyer. Be Smart About Who You Hire.
Studies have shown that Americans who hire personal injury attorneys tend to recover more money than those who do not.
Hiring the right lawyer can make all the difference.
An experienced attorney is able to draw on years of practical, hands-on insight to develop a strategy for maximizing your compensation.
Most settlements are achieved through negotiations between your attorney and the insurance company. Negotiation involves much more than mere bargaining, however. The most effective demands in negotiation tend to be those that are well supported by legal research and precedent. Attorneys should approach each stage of the negotiation process with a clear strategy in mind, always informed by their experience in similar matters from the past. And it is absolutely critical that the other side believes you and your lawyer are so serious about your claim that you’re prepared to take it to trial.
Though we have been able to get many of our clients a favorable car accident settlement in West Virginia, at Colombo Law, we do not accept a claim unless we are willing to take it all the way to trial.
Time Matters, So Don’t Delay
One of the most important things you can do to help yourself get a car accident settlement is to take prompt action. That means:
- Get necessary medical attention as soon as possible. If you’re injured, even if you aren’t sure whether your injuries are serious, make an appointment with a physician as soon as possible. A documented medical visit soon after the accident can be helpful to your claim later.
- Let your own auto insurance provider know about the accident as soon as possible. (Most insurance policies require the policyholder to provide timely notice of an auto accident.)
- Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. At Colombo Law, we offer no-obligation, no-cost legal consultations for West Virginia auto accident victims. It’s your chance to have a confidential discussion about your legal options before deciding whether you want to hire a lawyer.
Talk to a WV Auto Accident Lawyer at Colombo Law
How do you get a car accident settlement in West Virginia? Contact a lawyer, start a conversation about your claim, and discuss when is the right time to attempt a settlement.
In the majority of our cases, we have even been able to negotiate favorable settlements without going to trial, getting our clients more money than the insurer was willing to offer before we got involved.
Contact the car accident lawyers at Colombo Law to discuss your auto accident claim with no obligation and no cost to you. We will advise you if you have a case. Call us at 304-599-4229 or send us a secure message online.