If you’ve been in an accident, then it’s likely you will receive a settlement offer from your insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver involved in the accident. However, receiving a settlement offer doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to accept it. After you receive an offer, it may be a good idea to contact a car accident lawyer.
Have You Been Offered a Settlement? Four Reasons to Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer First
1. Evaluate the Settlement Offer
There are a few reasons why you may want to contact a car accident attorney in Kansas City if you’ve been offered a settlement from an insurance company. First and foremost, a lawyer will be able to evaluate the settlement to determine whether the offer is fair for the damages you have. A lawyer who specializes in car accidents will tell you if the offer is adequate to cover your medical bills, loss of wages, and non-economic damages.
Evaluating a settlement offer is an essential step since once you accept a settlement, you will not be able to seek any more compensation from the insurance company. Oftentimes, insurance companies push lowball offers because drivers who are injured may be motivated to accept any amount of compensation so they can pay for medical bills. However, accepting an offer without evaluating it first is always a mistake.
2. Counter-Offer for Negotiation
If a lawyer determines that your settlement offer is too low for your injuries and damages, then a lawyer will work with you to create a counteroffer. Many people worry that rejecting the first offer from the insurance company will prevent them from receiving any compensation, but the fact is that the settlement offer is the first portion of negotiations for your compensation.
As someone who is being offered a settlement after an accident, it is your right to negotiate for a settlement that will compensate for all of your injuries and damages. A lawyer will assess the details of your case to create a counter-offer that will provide compensation for all of your damages.
The medical expenses you have after an accident may not be the only medical expenses related to those injuries in the future. For example, some individuals injured in car accidents will have complications after surgery or disability that will require ongoing medical treatment. Accepting a settlement offer too quickly will prevent you from receiving compensation for ongoing medical expenses.
A lawyer will usually advise clients to wait to accept a settlement offer until a physician has determined the client is as medically improved as possible. This will ensure that all of your medical bills are paid for by the insurance company so that you will not have to pay for your treatment out-of-pocket.
In addition to economic damages related to medical treatment and repairs for a vehicle, your compensation should also include other economic damages. For example, people who are injured in car accidents often lose wages while they’re in recovery or may even experience loss of housing due to lack of wages. A lawyer will be able to assess the economic damages you have endured after an accident and will ensure that all of these damages are compensated by the settlement offer.
3. Understand the Release of Liability
When you are ready to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, a lawyer can also help you understand the release of liability. Essentially, when you accept a settlement, you agree that you will not attempt to seek compensation from the insurance company in the future, even if you have additional expenses related to your injuries after an accident.
4. Gather Evidence to Support the Claim
If your lawyer is unable to work with the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries, it may be time to build a case and file a lawsuit. When you need to file a lawsuit to receive a fair settlement offer, you will need evidence related to the accident to prove why you deserve the maximum compensation for your damages and injuries in court.
Why Do Insurance Companies Want to Settle Quickly?
Insurance companies often like to offer settlements very soon after you file a claim. By settling quickly, insurance companies can avoid having to pay the full compensation you deserve for all of your injuries and damages. This is why it’s especially important to take your time when you have been offered a settlement.
If you have been injured in a car accident, then you are entitled to receive compensation that will pay for all of your damages and injuries. When you receive a settlement offer, it’s best to consult with a lawyer who specializes in car accidents since a lawyer will be able to evaluate the fairness of the offer, open a counter-offer for negotiation, and help you understand the release of liability rules.