Agreeing to a Car Accident Settlement Too Early Can Be Costly
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, you may already be overwhelmed with decisions of how to move forward both financially and physically. If the at-fault insurance company offers you a quick settlement, it’s understandable you may be tempted to take it so you can put this all behind you. However, agreeing to a car accident settlement too early can be costly. Insurance companies would rather you take their first settlement offer, even though it likely won’t be enough to cover your losses. You may not realize you have the option to decline their settlement offer. If you’ve been injured, take the time to protect your rights to a fair settlement by hiring an experienced car accident attorney. This will allow you to get the right financial support you need to move forward.
What Should the Car Accident Settlement Include?
Car accident damages include medical treatment, pain and suffering, and damages to your vehicle. But a car accident settlement can also include your loss of income and the mental, emotional, and physical impact your injuries have caused you. Additionally, there are damages you can claim that relate to how your injuries will affect your future. If you will have life-long physical challenges because of your car accident, that can impact your income potential. You may need to make modifications to your home to accommodate a disability, or you may be suffering from mobility issues that make everyday tasks more challenging. When negotiating a fair settlement after a serious car accident, it’s important to consider the full scope of your damages, and an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the process.
Are Car Accident Settlements Final?
Once you sign a settlement agreement with an insurance company, you are releasing all claims from all parties. This means you are giving up any right to pursue more damages from your accident, even if unknown damages are discovered later. Signing a settlement agreement is usually final and legally binding. Once you sign, the case is closed. Some insurance companies will try to encourage, or even pressure you to sign quickly. You may receive a settlement offer before you are fully recovered from your injuries. You should know that it is important to take the time to talk to an attorney (without any obligation), heal from your injuries, and assess how the accident will impact your future before accepting a settlement offer.
Can I Reject a Settlement Offer?
Insurance companies have a bottom line, and paying claims cuts into their profit. They aren’t unempathetic, they just have different motives than you do for settling your car accident claim. It’s not uncommon for people to trust insurance adjusters and view them as experts in determining what a fair settlement is. But their idea of a “fair settlement” is probably different from yours.
You are allowed to decline a settlement offer, especially if you aren’t guided by an attorney, haven’t yet hired an attorney, or are still recovering from your injuries. If your attorney negotiates with the insurance company, but a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney has the option to file a lawsuit. Just because you get a settlement offer doesn’t mean it will be the only offer, and you don’t have to agree to anything that isn’t fair.
How Do I Make Sure I Get Enough Compensation After a Car Accident?
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you are entitled to a fair settlement. Your best course of action is to consult with a lawyer experienced in car accidents and personal injury law. Your attorney will thoroughly review the accident and insurance company’s proposed settlement before advising you on how to proceed. Hiring an attorney means you will have an ally in the negotiation. They will know your legal rights and the options you have based on your case to recover what you need to move on.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, it can be very challenging to make sense of the legal process and understand what you should and shouldn’t do to help your case. You’ve been injured, bills are piling up, and you may not be able to work until you recover. It can be easy to focus on what you need right now, and with the help of an experienced car accident attorney you can determine what you will also need in the future. No one should be burdened by the financial stress left from an accident that wasn’t their fault. If this is happening to you, contact Arthur Law Firm at (419) 782-9881 for a free consultation before you sign off on your injury claim. We can help you get the compensation you need and a settlement you deserve.