Car accident victims may be offered a settlement after an accident, and how they handle things is key. You may notice, for example, that the offer is far too low, but think you have no choice in the matter. Read on to find out what you need to do when the settlement offer is less than you deserve.
What is a Settlement?
The time right after a car accident can be very confusing. That, unfortunately, is also the time when it's easy to make mistakes. You may be contacted before you have time to recover from your injuries. This contact comes from the other driver's insurance company and they are asking you to sign an accident release. In exchange, they are offering to send you a check. If you sign the release and cash that check, you are settling the case. You cannot go back and change your mind, and you can never ask for more money from the insurer. There is another way to do things, though.
What Goes Into a Settlement?
It's easy to see why accident victims fall for the above scenario. Not many realize how much money they deserve after a wreck that was not their fault. The sooner you agree to a settlement, the sooner the other side can pay you the inadequate sum of money and move on to the next victim. Consider, though, what a fair settlement should contain:
- All medical expenses connected to the accident, from the trip to the hospital to all physical therapy afterward, and everything in between.
- Any future predicted medical treatment needs.
- All lost income from a job.
- Vehicle damage coverage.
- Pain and suffering. This damage category is based on multiplying your medical expenses by a factor that results in payments several times the medical bills.
If you are not offered enough to fully fund the above categories, you need help.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney
These lawyers are skilled in this particular area of civil law and understand all the factors that govern accidents settlements. After a lawyer accepts your case, you can expect the following:
- Your lawyer sends the other side (the at-fault driver's insurer) a letter explaining why they owe you compensation and how much you are demanding.
- That letter opens up negotiations. With knowledge of other similar settlements in mind, your lawyer deals with the other person's insurer so you don't have to.
- If the other side won't pay you what you deserve, you may have to take things to court.
You don't have to settle for less. Speak to a personal injury law firm about your accident case today, like Evans & Turnblad.