5 Tips to Increase Your Car Accident Settlement Negotiation

Accident reportA car accident, even a minor incident, can turn into a pile of medical bills, auto repair appointments and expenses, and car rental costs.  To increase the chance of recouping funds to pay for all those expenses, you need to take a few essential steps—starting just a few minutes after the car accident.

Call the police.

Even if your accident seems like nothing more than a minor fender bender, contact the police after your accident.  There could be more damage to your vehicle than is visible to the eye, or you may need more medical attention that you first anticipate.  A police report is vital to your claim as you pursue compensation for damage and injuries.

Collect information at the scene of the accident.

If possible—and this is not always possible if you need medical transport—get information from the other driver and any witnesses at the scene.  If you call the police, they can often capture this information in the police report.  Take pictures with your cell phone to document the accident scene, damage, and injuries.

Seek medical attention ASAP if needed.

If you are hurt, don’t wait to make a doctor’s appointment, or, if your injuries are more serious, to go to the hospital for treatment.  Getting medical attention as soon after the car accident gives you the documentation you need to establish that your injury or injuries was caused by the accident.

Keep all documentation.

Don’t throw anything away after your car accident.  Keep a file or folder with the police report, medical documents, car rental receipts, paperwork pertaining to the damage to your car, and any other documentation you receive after the car accident.  Proper documentation can be essential during negotiations and conversations with the insurance company.

Contact a good car accident lawyer.

A good car accident lawyer can be an excellent advantage in your negotiations with the insurance company, and in your recovery. Contact a good accident lawyer if: 1) the cost of your damages and injuries is significant 2) you need restitution for future costs or losses 3) there is some dispute over fault in the accident.  A lawyer can take over all contacts with the insurance company and negotiate for the full cost of damages and injuries.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

5 Steps for Getting Your Security Deposit Back

dollar pile of security deposit backIt would be so easy to just pay a security deposit, and then receive it back when you move out. However, there are circumstances and regulations that may inhibit that simple process—but there are steps you can take to make the return of your security deposit smoother and easier.

Think ahead.

Thinking ahead before you move out can save you a load of hassles later—and get your full security deposit returned. If you have a fixed-term lease, such as a 12-month lease, and you have to move out, find another tenant to take over your lease. For a month-to-month lease, give the appropriate amount of notice (i.e. 30 days, 15 days, etc.) as specified in the lease you signed. If you don’t give proper notice, your landlord may be allowed to deduct the amount of unpaid rent from your security deposit.

When you give notice, inquire about the expectations of your landlord. What condition do they expect your rental to be in after you move it? When you get an answer, make an effort to thoroughly clean your rental and leave it in the condition described by your landlord. Take pictures of the rental after you move out to ensure you have documentation in case of any future conflict.

Be patient.

By law, your landlord does not need to return your security deposit immediately when you move out. Be patient and wait for the deposit, which is typically (dependent upon local regulations) within 21 days. Usually you receive the deposit (or what remains of the deposit) in the mail with a statement detailing any deductions taken from the security deposit.

Contact the landlord.

If you disagree with the amount of security deposit that is returned, (calmly) contact your landlord. State the reason you disagree with any deductions, and discuss steps needed for resolution. Document the date and time of your call (or calls) and discussions for future reference, if needed.

Get legal advice.

If these steps have not resolved your issue, contact an experienced, local real estate lawyer. The lawyer can outline your options to get your security deposit back, such as pursuing the matter in small claims court, or can assist you with further actions, such as drafting a strong letter to your landlord, which may resolve your problem.

Consider small claims court.

You may be able to get your security deposit back in small claims court. There is a small cost to the process, so make sure the amount of your security deposit is worth your time and effort. You don’t need a lawyer to represent you in small claims court, but contacting a lawyer can increase your chance of success.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.