How Do I Settle a Car Accident Claim without a Lawyer and Still Get a Fair Settlement?

If you've been involved in a major car accident, you've probably shouldered a considerable financial burden. In addition to your towing costs and vehicle repairs, you may find yourself faced with sizable medical bills. As you know, the cost of medical care can quickly become overwhelming. If you were required to stay overnight in the hospital or undergo surgery for any of your injuries, you could be facing a five-figure medical bill. Depending upon the length of your stay and the complexity of your surgery, it's possible that your total accident-related medical costs will exceed $100,000.

Of course, some of these costs will be offset by a generous settlement from your insurance company. Unfortunately, your insurance provider is intensely protective of its bottom line. Since it's under no legal obligation to cover every penny of your repair costs and medical bills, you'll need to fight hard to secure a fair settlement. You may be thinking about retaining a lawyer for this purpose. After all, personal-injury lawyers specialize in using the threat of legal action to force insurance companies and other parties to make fair payouts.

However, personal-injury attorneys can be expensive. If you're able to secure a settlement from your insurance company, your lawyer will take a sizable cut of it. Depending upon the lawyer, this can amount to as much as 33 percent of your total settlement. This could eat into the size of your settlement and force you to take a loss on your post-accident outlays. In other words, you could still face financial ruin as a result of your accident. Of course, there's no guarantee that your insurance company will provide you with an adequate settlement in the absence of a lawyer. However, you may be able to secure a fair payout without having to compensate an attorney.

If you want to obtain a settlement from your car insurance company without using a lawyer, you'll need to be persistent. In addition, you'll need to keep all of your medical invoices and vehicle-repair bills. You'll also need to keep bills for certain miscellaneous expenses like your rental car and tow truck. If your insurance company appears to be reticent to issue a payout or makes you an offensively low offer, you may need to compose a "demand letter" that clearly states your case and proposes a specific settlement amount. Since your insurer is legally obligated to respond to this letter, it will serve as the starting point for further negotiations.

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