8 Tips to Get the Most Money from a Car Accident

Knowing what to do after a car accident can feel overwhelming. Understandably, injured victims want to know how to get more money from a car accident settlement.

The claims process for car accidents in Ohio can be complex and time-consuming, but when you learn more about your rights, you can protect yourself and understand how to get the most out of a car accident settlement.

One of the best ways to maximize your potential case value is to contact a skilled Ohio car accident lawyer early on. Attorney Aaron Bensinger knows all the tactics insurance companies use to undervalue your claim. When you need assistance pursuing a claim, he stands ready to help. 

Feel free to reach out to us at (419) 455-1410 to set up an initial consultation. We’re here to discuss how we can assist you in achieving the justice you rightfully deserve.

Read on for these eight tips on how to get more money from a car accident settlement in Ohio. 

1. Understand Your Damages 

The foundation of any car accident claim is your damages. You need to understand what your case is worth. Compensation is not limited to immediate medical expenses. You can claim future medical costs, lost wages from work, property damage, and noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Accurately calculating these damages is vital to understanding how to get the most money from a car accident. 

2. Resist the Rush to Accept an Initial Offer 

Some insurance companies will pressure you to accept the first settlement offer. However, these initial offers are often strategically low, exploiting the fact that you likely need money sooner rather than later. Taking one of these offers can result in a significant undervaluation of your claim. You might not know future medical expenses or an accurate reflection of your pain and suffering. 

Once you agree to a settlement, you generally forfeit the right to pursue additional compensation. Take the time to thoroughly review any proposal and consult a legal professional before making any decisions. 

3. Hire an Experienced Attorney 

Hiring an Ohio car accident lawyer in the early stages is a strategic move. Attorney Aaron Bensinger brings a wealth of knowledge and skill. Do you know how to negotiate a car accident settlement? Most people don’t, which is why it’s best to defer to a lawyer who knows how to fight for the maximum compensation. 

Your attorney also serves as a buffer between you and insurance companies, preventing common tactics used to devalue your claim. Retaining a lawyer to represent you sends a clear message that the claims adjuster should take your case seriously and that you’re ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. 

4. Build and Preserve a Strong Case 

Building a solid case is crucial if you want to know how to increase your settlement value. This process starts at the accident scene itself. Collect and preserve evidence scene photographs of the vehicle damage, your injuries, and any other essential details. Look for skid marks, debris, and details like a tree blocking a stop sign. 

Some of the best evidence you can get is in those moments immediately following the accident. Accident reconstructionists can recreate an accident scene, but nothing beats photos and tangible evidence collected directly at the scene. 

Did anyone stop as a witness? Witness statements can provide an objective narrative about actions that led up to the accident and who might be at fault. Proving liability against the other driver—or any other responsible parties—is key for maximizing your settlement value. 

5. File Your Case Promptly

Timing is everything in legal claims. You want to avoid inadvertently missing legal deadlines, such as the statute of limitations. This deadline is the cutoff for filing a lawsuit. In Ohio, the deadline is typically two years from the accident date. Failure to file within this deadline means the court will likely dismiss your case entirely. It doesn’t matter how severe your injuries are or whether you can prove the other driver was 100% at fault. 

There are better legal strategies than waiting until the deadline. Waiting to file can weaken your case. Evidence may become less reliable as time passes, and witness memories can fade. Your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit early on, especially if the other side contests liability. 

Once your case is in litigation, formal evidence gathering begins, preserving crucial details that might otherwise be lost. Filing a lawsuit doesn’t mean your case will go to trial; negotiations and attempts at resolution will continue. 

6. Avoid Discussing Your Case with the Insurance Company 

No matter how friendly the adjuster from the other driver’s insurance seems, they are not on your side. Communicating with them puts your case in jeopardy. These companies are skilled in techniques that may lead to you undermining your case. 

You might inadvertently say something they can use against you in a liability dispute. Your words, even seemingly harmless ones, can be misconstrued and used to devalue your claim. Instead, hire an attorney and let them handle all communications. When you have legal representation, insurance companies are prohibited from speaking with you directly. All communication—including settlement negotiations—will go through your lawyer. That is why we suggest hiring a lawyer early in the claims process. 

7. Stay Off Social Media

We know this is a hard one for most people. However, in today’s digital age, social media can become a minefield for accident victims. Refrain from posting details about your accident, injuries, or recovery. Insurance companies and opposing lawyers often scrutinize social media for evidence that could contradict your injury claims. 

For example, a simple photo or status update suggesting physical activity can be taken out of context to argue that your injuries are not as severe as claimed. Friends could post something with you and tag you, allowing the insurance company to see it. All it takes is one photo out of context to raise doubt with a jury. 

If you can’t refrain from using social media, be very cautious about what you post. Avoid sharing details of the accident, your injuries, or any legal proceedings. Encourage friends and family to avoid discussing your case on their platforms. This cautious approach helps ensure that your online presence doesn’t unintentionally compromise your claim. 

8. Make a Good Impression in Court 

If your case proceeds to trial, you want to make a good impression in court, as the way the judge and jury see you can influence your case’s outcome. You want to present yourself in a manner that garners empathy and respect. That includes being on time, dressing appropriately, and behaving respectfully in the courtroom. 

Your demeanor should reflect the seriousness of the situation and show that you are a credible, honest individual. Even small details, like body language and how you answer questions, can impact how the jury perceives you. Your attorney can guide you on best practices for courtroom conduct. We can explain how to answer questions effectively, prepare you to only answer what is asked, and not offer too many details. 

If the jury likes you, it can bolster your credibility and help convey the true extent of your pain and suffering. That could lead to a higher award for general damages. 

Contact an Ohio Car Accident at Bensinger Legal Services

If you sustained injuries in an auto accident, please speak with attorney Aaron Bensinger. He has years of experience assisting victims in getting the maximum compensation possible. Contact us online or call (419) 455-1410 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you get the justice you deserve. 

Author Photo Aaron L. Bensinger

Aaron L. Bensinger is an Ohio attorney serving personal injury and civil litigation clients. He has extensive trial experience and makes client service is his primary focus. As a partner at Balyeat, Leahy, Daley, Miller & Bensinger, LLC, Aaron happily works in Lima, OH, and serves the entire Northwest region of the state and beyond.

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