You have been in an accident and now have been offered a settlement from the insurance company.
What should you do? Should you settle? Should they have offered more? Will it cover all of your damages? What about anything in the future? These are all important questions that you need to get answered before you sign on the dotted line.
Many car accident victims settle their claims on their own. This occurs most often when there is only property damage, such as your vehicle needs to be repaired or your lawn was destroyed. When it becomes more difficult, when there are medical bills involved, it gets a little more tricky. That is not to say you could not settle a claim on your own, especially if it involved minimal medical bills, but the insurance company will work hard to reduce what you should receive and your awareness is key to overcoming their experience.
It Maybe a Insurance Settlement Trap
One of the biggest traps insurance companies will set is to get you to settle your claim as soon as possible. The quicker they settle your claim, the cheaper it will be and insurance adjustors know this. They also are aware that most accident victims want the experience to be over as quickly as possible. However, if you have serious medical injuries, you need to slow the process down. Do not allow the insurance company to pressure you into settling. Your priority should be to fully recover from your accident. If you settle prior to your recovery, you will not be able to access any additional funds if you have further medical bills down the road. Once you settle and sign your release, you have ended any additional negotiations.
Work with your physician when attempting to determine if you have fully recovered. Keep in mind that you may not recover to 100%. This should be taken into account when you begin the claim process with an insurance company. For example, if you have back pain from an accident and it suddenly reappears well after the accident and well after you have signed a release, you have no right to ask the insurance company for further compensation. It is this reason that you should not move to settle a claim that includes extensive medical bills prior to having a conversation with an attorney.
Hire an Experienced Accident Settlement Lawyer
They have experience in working with the insurance adjustors in determining the best course of action for you. There are claims that we have seen that can be settled in a few months; however some claims have taken years due to the recovery period. Each case is different and therefore each claim is different.
An additional reason it is a mistake to settle a claim prematurely is the discovery process. Under some circumstances, especially when an accident results in extensive damages, there are multiple insurance lines that can be tapped to provide compensation. This could include Med-Pay, liability and sometimes uninsured or underinsured insurance. As an accident victim, you may be able to access one or all of these funding sources.
Insurance Adjusters Offer Low Settlement Numbers
In most cases, the insurance adjustor is not going to offer this information up front. They will work to settle your claim cheaply and will not want you to be aware of the full funding that is available to you. In fact, they may never quote any insurance limits and will generally not offer up uninsured or underinsured information as that is normally through your own carrier. This may seem deceitful, and it is, however, an experienced attorney can quickly dig up this type of information.
Get your FREE Consultation from Auto Accident Attorneys
If you have further questions, or need additional advise on your settlement, do not hesitate to contact our office. We offer a FREE consultation and will get you the information you need before you sign the dotted line.