A motor vehicle accident can have devastating effects on a person and their life, impacting them physically, emotionally, and financially. Yet, while it may be tempting in these situations to take any money that the insurance company offers to help tackle some of the costs and problems that arose from the accident, the truth is the first settlement that the insurance company offers may not be able to help you get back to normal. In fact, if you accept a settlement offer too early, it may stop you from getting the compensation you need and deserve. Consult a car accident attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Things To Consider When You Get the First Settlement Offer?If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident, it may be enticing to accept an insurance company's first settlement offer. You know that with this money, you can have help with your bills and other expenses resulting from the accident, allowing you to move forward with your life as fast as possible. Yet, accepting this offer may not be the best thing for you and your interests. That is why before you accept any offer from the insurance company, you should first consider the following factors that can impact your decision of when you should accept a settlement offer:
- Did I reach maximum medical improvement?
- Did I lose a family member in the accident?
- Will I have to continue to miss work due to my injuries?
- Will I need help with daily tasks?
- Will I have to pay for my losses out of pocket?
Watch Out for the Insurance Companies and Their OffersAnother thing you need to understand before you accept the first insurance settlement offer is that the insurance companies are not there to help you, get the money you need, or ensure you are taken care of after an accident. Instead, insurance adjusters only have one goal in mind, and that is to settle your claim for as little money as possible so that they can protect the insurance company's bottom line. As a result, the insurance company rarely provides an offer that will cover a car accident's victim's expenses and future costs. If they do offer an amount, it will often be so meager it will leave individuals paying a significant amount of expenses out of pocket. For these reasons, before you accept anything from an insurance adjuster or representative, consider discussing the amount with an experienced car accident attorney first. These lawyers can review the extent of your losses, determine if this settlement offer is enough to cover all your damages and needs, and if not, help you fight for maximum compensation.
The Games Insurance Companies Like To Play To Undervalue a Victim's LossesSome of the ways insurance companies get away with their lowball offers are by taking part in the following tactics:
- Downplaying injuries: The insurance company likes to claim that injuries following an accident are not that serious or they resulted from a pre-existing condition. Worse yet, they may get away with these unjust allegations if you do not have strong evidence to counter these arguments.
- Settling too early: Insurance companies try to offer a lump sum shortly after a car accident in hopes that the victim takes this amount without verifying if it's fair to them and their needs. However, this amount will usually be much smaller than what the victim is entitled to.
- Looking for a recorded statement: The insurance company may try to get a recorded statement from you after an accident in hopes of catching you saying something that can hurt your legal claim and reduce the amount of money you can collect.
- Taking part in bad faith practices: Insurance companies must follow specific rules when settling a motor vehicle accident case. However, not all of these companies do. In some instances, insurance adjusters or representatives may try to bully a car accident victim into accepting a settlement offer so that they do not recover the fair compensation they need. These tactics are considered bad faith practices.
The Financial Damages You Can Pursue After a Car AccidentIf you file a lawsuit after a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to go after certain types of damages. These damages can usually be broken down into the following categories:
Economic DamagesThese damages refer to payment for the actual and verifiable losses that develop following an accident. They include things such as:
- Medical bills and all related expenses, including costs related to doctor visits, hospital stay, medications, surgeries, assistive medical devices, and other types of treatments
- Future medical care and support costs
- Income losses from not being able to work following the accident
- Reduced earning capacity if you cannot go back to your previous job after the accident
- Property damage expenses related to replacement or repair costs
Non-Economic DamagesThese damages refer to payment for hard-to-prove losses after an accident. These losses are typically hard to quantify due to their subjective nature and include things such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Other intangible losses, such as scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of life enjoyment or quality of life
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Injury to reputation and humiliation
Punitive DamagesFollowing a crash, punitive damages may also be available. However, unlike the above damages, which are awarded to compensate a victim after an accident for their losses, the court only awards punitive damages to punish the wrongful party for their deplorable actions and prevent others from committing the same acts in the future. Consequently, to be awarded these damages, the car accident victim needs to show clear and convincing evidence that the wrongful party was guilty of fraud, oppression, or malice.
Wrongful Death DamagesIf you lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death legal suit and go after compensation for the losses you suffered due to this death. In a wrongful death claim, survivors assert that they lost a loved one due to another person's wrongful actions, and they deserve financial damages for their losses. These damages typically include payment for things such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Final healthcare costs
- Loss of inheritance and financial support to the decedent would have contributed to the family during their lifetime
- Loss of benefits or gifts the decedent's loved ones would have expected to receive
- The reasonable value of household services the decedent would have provided
- Loss of the decedent's protection, affection, moral support, society, companionship, and training
Figure Out What Damages You Can PursueTo figure out which of these financial damages you can pursue after a motor vehicle accident, consider discussing your accident with an experienced car accident attorney. These legal professionals can not only review your injuries and determine the full extent of them, but they can also figure out what types of compensation apply to your case and help you go after maximum financial recovery.
How Much Money Can You Collect After a Motor Vehicle Accident?While there are many different types of damages you can collect after a motor vehicle accident, the amount you can obtain will usually depend on the facts of your crash. In truth, numerous factors can generally impact the value of your claim and, ultimately, the amount of money you can get. These factors include the following:
- The type of harm sustained after a motor vehicle accident and the severity of these injuries
- The type of medical care and treatments needed now and in the future
- Whether the car crash resulted in a permanent disability
- The length of the medical treatments and the prognosis of your injuries
- The ability to work after the motor vehicle collision
- The extent of the lost income endured and the ability to return to the same position after the accident
- The wrongdoer's culpability
- The credibility of the evidence and witnesses presented
- The extent of the pain and suffering
- The need for replacement services after the accident
How a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Fight for the Money You Need?While no amount of money will help you get over the pain and hurt that you endured after a motor vehicle accident, obtaining just compensation can help ease some of the burden associated with these accidents, including paying for the bills resulting from these crashes and providing compensation to help cover ongoing medical needs. That is why if you want to go after the maximum financial damages you deserve after a motor vehicle accident, consider discussing your accident with a knowledgeable car crash lawyer. Once retained, these legal professionals can:
- Thoroughly go over the details of what happened, figure out if you have a viable legal claim, and determine the legal options you can pursue.
- Investigate the crash and secure evidence and documents that can help prove what happened and who was responsible.
- Hire experts to validate your legal case, including doctors, economists, and accident reconstructionists specialists.
- Make sure legal documents are filed before the statute of limitations expires.
- Handle settlement negotiations with the other side, including the insurance company, and go after a just offer.
- Make sure that the insurance company does not use your vulnerable state to try to get you less money than you are entitled to.
- Proceed to trial if the other side is not willing to get you the compensation you require, and fight tirelessly for all the money you need.