Motor vehicle crashes almost invariably bring some amount of financial uncertainty with them. Except for those who are incredibly rich, individuals who get into car accidents likely have to worry about lost wages, the damage to their cars and the cost of medical treatment.
Unfortunately for the people who get hurt in crashes, that financial hardship can sometimes lead them to make bad decisions about their insurance claim. People will jump at the offer for a cash settlement without truly analyzing the settlement.
What happens if you accept an insurance settlement that's too low? Do you understand how that kind of mistake could impact you and your family?
When you accept a settlement, you can't go back for more
After a crash that leaves you unable to work, you have bills to pay and no money coming into the house. It is only natural to want to connect with money from your insurance company as quickly as possible. When the company makes a settlement offer that sounds reasonable, you might accept it right away.
Sometimes, companies eager to solidify a low-ball settlement will pay out on a claim the same day they receive a written response from the policyholder. Getting that insurance text feels like a relief. You can pay medical bills, arrange to have your car fixed or replaced, and cover some of your cost of living expenses. Unfortunately, because you have serious injuries that don't simply disappear after a few weeks, the financial impact of the crash lasts for weeks or even months.
You may have ongoing medical bills for everything from surgery to physical therapy. You may still not be able to work, making it increasingly difficult to pay your bills. When the settlement money from your insurance company runs out, you find yourself in a position of either needing to borrow money or take a low-paying job that you can do despite your injury.
Because you already signed a settlement offer, you will not be able to obtain any more compensation from the injury related to the accident. You may not be able to bring action against the other driver, either. You will simply have to find a way to cover these costs yourself.
Getting a fair settlement is critical to your future
Just because it's called a settlement doesn't mean you should have to compromise everything. Instead, you should expect to receive an amount that will reasonably cover the expenses related to your injuries.
If the insurance company won't make an offer that covers your costs, you may need to reject their settlement offer. Having an attorney negotiate on your behalf could make things easier. It can also let the insurance company know that you mean business.
Anytime you receive a settlement offer, make sure to review it carefully, ideally with a lawyer. From there, you can look at the total costs of your injuries related to the accident and determine if it is reasonable.