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The car accidents are mostly settled out of court and rarely go to the trial. If you have faced any car accident and you possess the insurance, you must know the right ways of claiming it. For avoiding the time consuming and expensive trial processes, the parties may settle with a mutual agreement for claiming the insurance.

What are the types of damages, you can claim for?

When you are claiming for only the property damage for your car, then you are entitled to car damagesclaiming for the damages like:

  • Car Rental Expense: Most of the Car insurance companies will reimburse the expenditures of the car rental, which you may be using while your car is at a service station for repair.
  • Damage of the vehicle: The entire cost of the expenses of repairing the vehicle
  • Personal Property Damage: If there is any personal property remaining in your car such as the laptop is being damaged in the incident, the compensation for them will be made.
  • Expenses Out Of Pocket: From the spot of the accident, if you have to hire a cab to go to your home or the police station, those out-of-pocket expenses can also be claimed

A settlement offer can be extended to you from the insurance company depending on the documentation. If you have missed out on providing any evidence like the out of pocket expenses, the insurance company will not compensate that part of your loss.

The insurance company will only enter into the contract if the company’s best interests are present. It will be wiser to compensate you fairly rather than paying the attorney fees to the lawyers for fighting against you where the result is entirely unpredictable.

What happens if you are injured in the accident?

Besides your property damage, you may get injured in the car accident. In that case, the legal issues become much more complicated. From the insurance companies, you are entitled to obtain compensation for the loss of wages as well as your medical expenses.

Though you feel satisfied after being compensated for your material losses, it is always recommended that you seek advice from a licensed attorney about your bodily injuries. Sometimes, it can be experienced that the insurance company is providing you with a quick settlement. After a week of the final settlement, your body injuries may revert and you will not have any option to go back to the company for gaining the additional compensation.

Process of Car Accident Claim Settlement

Demand Letter: You will have to draft a demand letter explaining the entire circumstances of the
accident and the medical treatment post the accident. This demand letter will surely open a platform for beginning the negotiations as early as possible.

The main body of the demand letter should contain the entire detailed explanation of the accident and the medical treatment of the victims. The amount involved in the damages and the medical costs can be displayed in a slightly increased manner. This can help you with the room for moving during the negotiation process.

Negotiation Process: The insurance company will start the reviewing process with your documents after receiving the demand letter. At first, the insurer may start with a very low amount of the initial offer for settling the claim. Just as you have kept room for negotiation with a high amount in the demand letter, they are offering with a low amount of compensation. You should not settle with the offer which is being offered at the initial stage. You and your attorney should be well prepared with the written response where the offer is being declined. Your response should be polite while you can continue counter demanding. This letter may have a bit reduced amount than the first one. For some time, these negotiations will continue back and forth from both parties. Some additional information may act as a proof of your expenses, for example, photos of the injuries or scars or a letter from the doctor who has been involved in your treatment.

Mediation: When negotiations are not being effective between the two parties, a third neutral party must be involved. A professional mediator is a licensed attorney who had experiences in settling injury and accident cases. The mediator can properly show the strengths and weaknesses of both the parties and bridge the gap between their communications. This will eventually result in an amicable solution for both parties.

Accept The Offer: Either through simple negotiations or involving the mediators, you will have to finally accept the offer which satisfies you. Before accepting, make sure that no medical bills are remaining unpaid and after the deduction of the attorney’s fees, the compensation is reasonable.

Settling with the car accident claim can be a tedious task for you. If you are not confident in doing it alone, take the help of the licensed attorney in your state. Make sure that you are completely recovered from your bodily injuries or your health has reached to improvement up to the maximum possible level when you are accepting the final settlement amount from the insurance company.

Naval Goel is the founder of He is an Associate Member of the Indian Institute of Insurance`, Pune. He has been authorized by IRDA to act as a Principal Officer of Insurance Web Aggregator.
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