Each year, millions of car accidents occur across the country. Many of these accidents will involve just property damage, but others may inflict catastrophic injuries or even death. If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you know that the first few moments and days after the accident can be intense. You will need to speak to police officers, providing them with details concerning the accident, doctors, in the event you are injured and your insurance company. Soon after your accident, you will also likely receive a call from the other driver’s insurance adjuster. You might also be bombarded with questions as to every detail of the accident, your insurance information, your vehicle type and what medical attention you received after the accident.
This will not be your last call with the insurance adjuster. You might receive numerous calls in the days to come. If you are attempting to negotiate a settlement on your own, you could end up speaking with the insurance company numerous times. Finally, sometimes months later, you might even receive a settlement offer, leaving you with the important decision of whether to accept that offer.
Consider the Following Factors Before Accepting A Settlement Offer:
- Who was at fault for the accident?
- How much damage did your vehicle sustain? What was the estimate to repair or replace it?
- What physical injuries did you suffer?
- How much were your medical expenses and hospital visits?
- Will you need ongoing medical care?
- How much are your prescription drug costs?
- How much time did you require off work?
- What did you lose total in wages?
- Did your spouse suffer relationship or emotional attachment issues due to the accident (loss of consortium damages)?
- Did you experience pain and suffering?
- Did you experience mental anguish or suffering?
With these factors in mind, you should be able to estimate the true value of your claim. An experienced automobile accident attorney can be of great assistance in evaluating your claim and fighting for your full recovery. As a for profit company, the insurance company has a vested interest in making the lowest offer possible. This makes it imperative that you perform your own calculations to ensure you do not accept a settlement amount that will leave you struggling to pay uncovered medical bills or continuing to experience ongoing, uncovered losses. Further, there is no reason to accept a settlement offer without speaking with an attorney, who can advise you as to what steps to take to protect your rights.