Should You Settle Or File A Lawsuit After A Car Accident?
You filed a claim with the insurance company after you had an accident and they were surprisingly quick about offering you a settlement. That lump-sum payment looks attractive enough, but is it what you really deserve? One of the biggest reasons most car accident lawsuits against insurance companies never make it to court is that the injured party gets a settlement offer and is anxious to get the money into their bank account. It can be a hard decision to make: should you settle or file a lawsuit? There are a few things to keep in mind, before you sign the settlement offer and move on with your life.
The initial settlement offer is almost always lower than it should be.
When you get that first settlement offer, especially if it does happen quickly, take a good look at the amount you are being offered and compare it to the expenses you have incurred or will incur in the future, because of your injuries. If the costs of you suspected care and the anticipated loss of wages is far more than what you are being offered, it is best to move on and talk to a car accident lawyer for advice. This first settlement is very often much lower than it should be, because most insurance companies believe it's worth seeing if you'll settle for their offer. Unfortunately, many people do.
Watch out for lowball offers for your injuries.
Determining how much an injury is worth is a tricky thing, by any standards. You have to assume the costs of your medical care, of course, but you will also have to think about what types of medical care you will need for the long term. For instance, if you broke your back during the accident, you are likely going to need therapy or pain treatments for the long haul. Insurance companies constantly shoot out lowball offers for injuries that involve a substantial amount of long-term care.
Don't get duped into accepting a settlement under false pretenses.
Insurance companies will try to make you believe the settlement they are offering is simply all that can be offered, according to your coverage levels or the coverage levels of the responsible driver who was their customer. They will use some pretty conniving language and tactics to make you feel like filing a claim is not something you can do. Don't allow these statements to persuade you to sign anything before you have discussed a situation with a personal injury attorney.