If you’ve been involved in a car accident and have suffered severe injuries that are affecting your quality of life and preventing you from working and paying your bills, medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses, obtaining a settlement from the insurance company or insurance adjuster may be your only hope of avoiding financial ruin. It should be noted, however, that the procedure is not always straightforward.
Here are some essential facts to know about car accident settlements that will assist you in navigating the road ahead. You can also visit here to learn more about auto accident settlements.
1. INVEST IN CONSULTING A DOCTOR
Even if you think you’re OK after a vehicle accident, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to be safe. If you don’t know the entire extent of your injuries, don’t even consider accepting a settlement. If issues arise months later, you’ll be saddled with ever-increasing medical costs. Doctors can identify these issues early on with the proper tests and scans and treat them before they worsen and you end up with long-term pain and suffering. Negotiate a settlement offer using the documentation you’ve collected thus far in mind.
If you choose not to seek medical treatment after a vehicle accident and then have difficulties weeks or months later, proving that your new medical issues are connected to the accident may be challenging. An excellent personal injury lawyer would tell you to be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible following the event.
2. EACH AND EVERY AGREEMENT IS UNIQUE
Before settling on the settlement amount, every insurance company or personal injury lawyer weighs various variables throughout the settlement process. The individual who had minor injuries will get a considerably lower settlement than those who suffered severe injuries if two persons are wounded in the same car accident.
Some of the factors that insurance companies consider when deciding on a settlement amount or whether they should settle at all are listed below to help you understand: where the accident occurred, whether medical treatment was reasonable and necessary, whether you will recover from your injuries, whether you will need medical treatment in the future, how much work you have missed or will miss in the future, and your level of comparative negligence.
3. MINORITY PARTIES LIKE TO DELAY PAYING OUT
You may be enduring significant pain and suffering even if you were not at fault in the accident. However, most insurance companies will give you the lowest settlement amount available, even if you were not at fault. This is one of the reasons why you should think about contacting a personal injury lawyer after suffering an accident. They are familiar with the law and have dealt with insurance companies in the past, so they may be able to obtain you more money than you deserve.
4. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ACCEPT THE FIRST OFFER
Understand that the insurance company will make an initial lowball offer, so be prepared to respond with something more in line with what you believe you are entitled to get. It’s likely that the insurance company is anticipating a counteroffer and will be open to some bargaining, although this will be much simpler to achieve if you employ an attorney.
5. FIND A COPY OF AN ACCIDENT REPORT
You should be able to get a copy from your insurance provider, or you may call the police to make a formal request. Take your time and thoroughly review everything to ensure there are no errors or apparent faults. Any errors in your claim may harm the result of your settlement. You may file a new accident report if you need to, but keep in mind that the insurance company will need to verify the information before a payout can be given.
6. DON’T EXPECT TO RECEIVE ALL OF YOUR SETTLEMENT MONEY
While receiving a significant settlement is cause for celebration, it’s essential to remember that the money won’t be deposited directly into your bank account after you get it.
Even if you don’t anticipate paying any legal costs in advance, you may be surprised by the final bill. In most cases, your lawyer will get between 30 and 40% of your settlement money, plus any extra costs or charges.
Also, don’t mistake believing that any money you get as part of a settlement is tax-free. Medical costs and physical injury compensation are often not subject to taxation, but payment for lost earnings and emotional anguish is.
The insurance company may not pay the whole sum in one go if the settlement is enormous. Until the compensation is fully completed, they may make installments once a year or perhaps every few years. It would help if you were prepared for the possibility that you will not be able to work due to the incident. Prepare a realistic budget and make sure you have enough money to last you from one settlement payment to the next.
7. PLAN ON IT TAKING A BIT OF TIME
Don’t hold your breath for a quick conclusion. It may take a long time for your claim to be resolved. Keep in mind that the insurance company is dealing with your claim on top of all of the other claims they have, so it may take a long time to resolve your claim entirely. More minor claims are generally paid out more quickly than more significant claims since they are typically less difficult to investigate. If you have suffered a severe injury and are requesting a large sum of money, it is conceivable that you may have to wait for a settlement for more than a few months.
8. WHEN YOU AGREE TO A SETTLEMENT, THAT’S IT
You’ll be asked to sign a release form agreeing to the settlement amount if you reach an agreement. You’ll have plenty of time to negotiate throughout the process. Once you’ve signed this document, you can’t ask for additional money in the future. It’s legally binding once you do. Another excellent reason to engage an attorney in your case. In light of their extensive knowledge, they’ll know whether or not you’re fairly compensated for your injuries.
It would help if you never forgot that the insurance company deciding on your claim isn’t necessarily working for you. If you were not at fault for an injury and have suffered one, get medical attention and consult with a personal injury attorney for assistance through the legal system.