Insurance companies often undervalue car crash claims and make lowball offers to victims. Their goal is to pay out the least amount of compensation possible to protect their bottom line. An insurance company is also less likely to offer more in compensation unless a lawyer is involved. This is why it is important to be cautious and ask questions when given a settlement offer before deciding to accept it.
You will want to make sure the settlement provides full compensation for your injuries and damages. You will want to consider any future costs you may incur after the offer is signed. Once a settlement has been accepted, crash victims can no longer seek more compensation from the insurance company.
Below, we discuss questions that crash victims should ask about a settlement offer before agreeing to sign on the dotted line. If a settlement offer does not adequately reflect the losses you have suffered, an experienced auto accident lawyer based in Windsor is ready to help make a counteroffer.
Call (866) 320-4770 for a Free Case Review.
Does the Settlement Cover Future Medical Care?
In most cases, the first settlement offer from the insurance company is given before a crash victim has fully recovered from his or her injuries. You may be accepting an offer that covers your current medical care, but not the care you may need in the future. If complications arise requiring additional surgery, rehabilitation or other treatment, you may have to pay for such expenses from your own pocket.
Insurance companies often do not account for future care expenses, and if they decide to, they will likely not offer enough to cover them. Dealing with the insurance company on your own can make it harder to get the compensation you need, especially if your injury is serious and requires ongoing care.
A lawyer can help you determine the cost of future medical care, as well as communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. The last thing you want is to not account for certain costs that may be vital to you making a full recovery or reaching maximum medical improvement.
Will All of My Out-of-Pockets Costs Be Covered?
After a crash, you may be able to include many expenses due to your injuries, such as your medical bills, lost income, property damage and other accident-related expenses. Out-of-pocket costs may also be recovered in an auto accident settlement for things you had to pay for when filing a claim and during negotiations. For instance, travel expenses, mileage reimbursement and parking fees for doctor’s visits.
However, the insurance company may argue against paying for these costs by saying they were not reasonable and necessary. They may also challenge the amount of compensation you are claiming if you do not have documentation or enough documentation of your damages, such as receipts.
When this happens, it is in your best interest work to with a qualified lawyer, as he or she may be able to help review your out-of-pocket costs, properly document these costs, and include them in your claim.
How Much Compensation is Provided for Pain and Suffering?
The amount of compensation for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, can be considerable. This is often the case if a crash victim suffers a permanent injury. This is because the pain and suffering involved with this kind of injury can be life-altering and diminish his or her quality of life.
For instance, you may suffer from chronic physical pain and discomfort, in addition to depression and other mental health issues. While the value of pain and suffering damages is determined on a case-by-case basis, this does not stop insurance companies from trying to undervalue these damages.
These damages are also harder to calculate as they are subjective, which is why working with a lawyer who has years of practice valuing pain and suffering damages is to your benefit. He or she can help gather the proof needed to support your claim for compensation.
Does the Settlement Offer Pay for Loss of Earning Capacity?
Since the crash, you may be unable to return to your previous job, work as much you would like or work at all due to your injuries. You may be able to seek compensation for loss of earning capacity. This is the income you will reasonably lose as a result of the injuries you sustained.
Getting compensated for these damages will be based on the income you would have been expected to earn in the future, had you not been injured in the crash. If the insurance company has given you a quick offer, there is a good chance that the settlement does not include loss of earning capacity. These damages take time to calculate, and it is a good idea to discuss these damages with a qualified lawyer.
Call Greg Monforton & Partners for Trusted Legal Help
If you have been injured in a crash, our firm is here to help. We know how insurance companies think and what it takes to build a strong case to pursue the maximum amount of compensation possible. Our lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions in compensation for our clients over the last four decades.
An initial consultation with a member of our legal team is free and comes with no obligation to use our services. We work on contingency, which means zero upfront fees. We only get paid if you get paid.
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