Do I Have To Accept A Car Accident Settlement?
Auto insurance companies will offer you a settlement after a car accident, but sometimes, it’s not enough. Most accident settlements require some negotiation, but some will require you to take the insurer to court to get a fair settlement. While it is true that most accident cases settle outside of court, that does not mean that accident victims get the settlement they deserve. If you have been offered an accident settlement from your insurer or the other party’s insurer, you are not obligated to take it. You have the right to negotiate.
Your Right to Dispute
Auto insurance companies know that you have medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses stemming from your accident. Therefore, they will offer a seemingly large accident settlement, assuming that you do not know how much it will cost to cover your losses. While some insurance companies may make you feel as though you must accept their settlement, you have the right to negotiate. If the insurer refuses to work with you, you can take them to court.
Understand Your Damages
If you are contemplating accepting a settlement, you should consult with an accident attorney first. Your attorney will calculate your damages and ensure the settlement is adequate enough to compensate you for physical, financial, and emotional damages. Some costs your attorney will assess include:
- Initial medical costs
- Future medical costs
- Medical insurance costs
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle damage
- Legal costs
If you have not fully recovered from your accident, it may be difficult to accurately calculate the extent of your medical costs. An attorney can estimate these costs for you or may advise you to hold off on any settlement discussions until you have reached a maximum medical improvement level (MMI).
It Might be Worth the Wait
The reason most accidents settle for less is because accident victims don’t want to wait for negotiations or even a trial to complete. However, if an insurance company’s settlement is too low and will not cover future costs, it is in the best interest of an accident victim to negotiate with the insurance company until a reasonable offer is received.
Hiring an accident attorney can take some of the stress out of negotiations. An experienced accident attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and come up with a settlement that covers your costs.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today at Statesman Law Group
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, do not accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without speaking to an attorney. Contact Statesman Law Group today by calling (833) USA-JUSTICE or filling out our online contact form.
Tags: Car Accidents