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How to Settle an Auto Accident Claim in SC

If you get hurt in a SC car crash caused by another driver's negligence, no one is going to rush in and voluntarily cover all your costs.

The at-fault driver's insurance company may deny your claim outright. If they make a settlement offer, it will almost certainly be far less than what you are owed.

You can try to negotiate with them on your own, but you are at a disadvantage.

Chances are, you don't do a lot of high-stakes negotiating. The adjuster you're trying to get money out of, on the other hand, does it every day. Their job is to find a way to deny your claim or get you to agree to as little money as possible, and they are good at their job.

Your SC auto accident attorney can help level the playing field for you. Like the insurance adjuster, the Axelrod team has experience with high-stakes negotiations. Unlike the adjuster, we are also trained advocates for plaintiffs and we have experience trying auto accident cases.

How Can Axelrod and Associates Help?

Once you've got us on your side, we will take over the stressful communications with the insurance company. Immediately, we begin collecting evidence, working with doctors to prove your damages, negotiating with the insurance company, and preparing your case for trial.

The Demand Letter

In most cases, your attorney will send a demand letter to the insurance company before filing your lawsuit. In other cases, it may be a better strategy to go ahead and file the lawsuit - any negotiations will then be done with the insurance company's defense attorneys.

In the letter, your attorney will usually include:

  • A detailed account of the events that led up to the accident;
  • Exactly what happened during the accident;
  • What medical treatment you have already received;
  • The medical treatment you will need in the future; and
  • Other damages that you are entitled to, including punitive damages when appropriate.

In most cases, insurance companies will not pay your initial demand. In many cases, they will not negotiate in good faith until all discovery has been completed and we are nearing the trial date.

The Initial Offer

After reviewing your demand letter, the insurance company may give itself room to negotiate by lowballing you on their first offer. There is no need to be shocked or worried by this - it's a normal part of the process.

Insurance companies have made a science out of paying the least amount of money possible to personal injury claimants - a lot of things will go into their calculation of their initial offer and their bottom line, including whether you have an attorney, your attorney's experience with car wreck cases in SC, and your attorney's trial experience and results.

When the insurance company makes an offer that we cannot accept, we reject the offer. Depending on the strength of your case, your goals, and the likelihood of reaching a settlement with the adjuster, we may then continue negotiating, or we may file the lawsuit against the other driver.

After you file the lawsuit, your case will go to an insurance defense attorney - in some cases, the back and forth of negotiations may continue with the defense lawyer, until they settle the case or until the trial date comes.

Mediation

Sometimes negotiations do stall. We won't go any lower, and the insurance company won't go any higher. In most counties in SC, including Horry County, mediation is mandatory before a case goes to trial.

The mediator, usually an attorney who has no connection to either side of the case, may bring a fresh perspective. By pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each side's arguments, mediators are often able to help you find a number that satisfies both sides.

When negotiations and mediation fail, your attorney must be ready to try your case to a jury verdict...

Got Axelrod?

Your Myrtle Beach auto accident lawyer on the Axelrod team knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and will be ready to try your auto accident case to a jury if the insurance company does not pay. Call today at (843) 916-9300 or fill out our contact form to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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Axelrod & Associates, P.A.
4701 Oleander Drive, Suite A
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Phone: 843-353-3449
Fax: 843.916.9311
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Axelrod & Associates, P.A.
331 E. Main Street, Suite 200
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Phone: 843-353-3449
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Axelrod & Associates, P.A.
3700 Golf Colony Ln
Little River, SC 29566

Phone: 843-353-3449
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