Any time you're involved in a car accident, you need to make sure that you don't risk your legal rights to restitution for your medical bills. If the at-fault party files an insurance claim to help cover your costs, you may find that you get a quick settlement offer from the adjuster. Before you accept any settlement offer, you should meet with a car accident attorney. Here are a few reasons why you should have every offer evaluated by your lawyer before you do anything.
Initial Offers Are Usually The Lowest
Especially if you get a settlement offer right away after filing your claim, it's a pretty good bet that the offer is going to be a low one. This is a common practice because the insurance company is going to try to get out from under the claim as inexpensively as possible. To do that, they'll start with a significantly lower offer than you might probably deserve.
Your car accident attorney will review the offer and the facts of the case before providing you with a recommendation about whether it's worth accepting. He or she will factor in a variety of expenses, including the cost of your lost work hours, your ongoing medical costs, any expenses that may be incurred for adapting your home after the recovery, and some compensation for generalized pain and suffering.
Settlement Offers Don't Often Consider Long-Term Costs
In many cases, the settlement offer you receive will be focused solely on the repair costs for your vehicle, your already incurred medical expenses, and a small amount for pain and suffering. This is probably sufficient if you've already received your treatment and you've recovered. However, if you have a long-term injury or one that will never go away, you need to consider that carefully before you accept an offer.
Not only should you think about the long-term costs associated with any necessary treatment, you'll also want to consider an increase in the pain and suffering compensation if the injury has heavily affected your quality of life. If you're not able to do many of the things you've always done, you should seek additional compensation for that. Your attorney will know what the legal limits are for that kind of restitution, and he or she will help ensure that you get enough without requesting more than is legally allowed.
Talk with an auto accident attorney today for more information or to review the merits of your claim.