How To Settle A Car Accident Claim Without A Lawyer

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Dennishernandez 13 April 21

Did you know? More than three million car accidents per year worldwide, and nearly two million of these accidents end with people involved suffering permanent injuries. The risk that car accidents can cause is significant, and that is why lawyers specializing in car accidents willingly render their services to the general public. 

However, if you are one among people who think they can settle their car accident claims without a Tampa car accident lawyer, we have put together what steps you will need to follow.

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Evaluate the damages you suffered

To make a claim, you need to first evaluate and arrive at a cost for the damages you have been through. It includes damages caused to the vehicle, car repairs, medical expenses, and hospital bills. Though this may seem like the only cost, you may incur other costs you need to add, including the number of days you aren’t able to work. If your injuries are severe, then you may want to include the income you may lose over the next several months or years. 

Negotiate with the insurance company

You may think your car insurance will cover your expenses in the event of an accident. Before you start working out your settlement, talk to your insurance provider about the costs and damages they will cover. Most insurance companies will arrive at a settlement amount that would only cover your injuries and car repair costs. However, the actual costs you will incur because of the accident may be much higher than the insurance provider’s estimates. 

Put together your demand letter

A demand letter is your first application for the insurance claim settlement. The demand letter lists out in a detailed way the claim you are making, the various reasons that contribute towards the claim, proof of the damages, etc. You will also need to include reasons why the other party is responsible for causing the accident and that you deserve the claim amount you are quoting. Upon receiving your demand letter, the other party will come back to you with a counteroffer that you are free to accept. However, the counteroffer is almost meager compared to the actual losses you incur. The demand letter is only the beginning of a long legal battle that you may need to take to court finally.

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Do your research

Before you take your case to court, do your due diligence, including the costs you may incur. It includes administrative charges, court fees, and the potential cost of missing out on work. 

If you are considering an out-of-court settlement, then take the time to research other settlements similar to your case so you get a fair idea about is the right amount for you.

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Wait for the verdict

The final step is the judgment. After hearing arguments from both sides and assessing proof, the judge will decide if your claim matches the damages you have suffered. If you represent yourself well, then the judge may decide in your favor and award you compensation that could either match or claim or exceed it. But if your self-representation doesn’t go as per plan, then the judge may not award you the claim you expect.

It is important to know that it is not the best idea to represent yourself, no matter how confident you feel about yourself. Tampa car accident lawyers specialize in accident claims and have their clients’ best interests while representing them.