When Might an Insurer’s Settlement Offer be Adequate?
September 30, 2021
Once you sign a settlement agreement with the insurance company, you forfeit your right to pursue any more compensation from the at-fault driver or his or her insurance company. That means the settlement needs to provide you with all the compensation you need for future medical expenses and other damages.
How can you be sure a settlement will provide what you need? What do you need to consider before deciding to accept the offer and sign it?
Below, the experienced attorneys at Phillips Law Group discuss the factors that should be considered when the insurance company makes a settlement offer. There are questions you or your attorney should be able to answer before deciding to accept it.
As this is a complex issue, injury victims should give serious thought to working with a licensed attorney with significant experience in these cases. The attorneys at our firm have been managing auto accident cases for decades and have recovered millions on behalf of our clients. We also take cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees.
Does the Settlement Cover Out-of-Pocket Costs You Have Already Incurred?
Your lawyer needs to make sure the settlement pays for all the out-of-pocket costs included in the demand letter, including:
- Injury-related medical bills
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repair costs
- Property damage
- And other out-of-pocket costs created by the crash
Before making a settlement demand, your vehicle accident lawyer in Phoenix should make sure your out-of-pocket costs have all been accounted for. It is important for injury victims to keep track of bills and receipts they receive during the claim. Make sure to keep everything in one place so it is easy to find. You do not want to be scrambling trying to find something when your lawyer is putting together a demand letter.
Will the Settlement Offer Provide for Future Out-of-Pocket Costs?
Typically, lawyers do not know what the potential future damages may be until the victim reaches the point of maximum medical improvement. That is why you should be highly suspicious of settlement offers made before that point. Unless healing has stopped and your injuries have been assessed by a licensed medical professional, there is no way to know the potential long-term effects.
With rare exceptions, you cannot reopen a claim once a settlement offer has been signed. You need to be sure the settlement provides you the compensation you will need after the legal process has concluded. Otherwise, you may be left trying to pay for things you cannot afford, which could result in you not being able to get the medical treatment you need.
Does the Settlement Cover Pain and Suffering and Other Non-Economic Damages?
One of the reasons car crash victims should hire an attorney is because they do not know how to calculate the value of non-economic damages like pain and suffering. There are a few ways this is commonly done, and you should make sure to hire an attorney who has significant experience calculating non-economic damages.
While it is true that money cannot make up for pain, psychological issues and an injury’s impact on your relationships or enjoyment of life, compensation is the law’s way of trying to put you back in the position you were in before your injury. Compensation could help pay for counseling to help work through the psychological damage done by your injuries.
Sometimes crash victims suffer from depression and anxiety, but these issues can be mitigated with medication. If your lawyer recovers compensation for these costs, you have one less thing to be concerned about moving forward.
At Phillips Law Group, our lawyers know how to calculate the value of non-economic damages. We know what factors to account for and can explain how you can help us in evaluating these damages.
What About Loss of Earning Capacity?
It is possible you will never be able to return to the same job you had before the accident. Your physical or psychological injuries may make that impossible. Even if you can go back to the same job, you may need to work less or change the way you do your work, which could hurt your future earning capacity.
A settlement offer needs to include compensation for damage to your future earning capacity, so you have the money you need to take care of yourself and your family. Various factors need to be considered when determining what loss of earning capacity may be worth. This may include education, training, skills, current position, potential for advancement, etc.
What Does Your Lawyer Think of the Settlement?
The attorneys at Phillips Law Group are committed to seeking maximum compensation for damages suffered by crash victims. When a settlement offer is made, it is very important to discuss it with your lawyer and learn what he or she thinks of it. If your lawyer thinks you should get more, ask why and what a fair settlement offer may look like.
At our firm, we are committed to responding quickly to questions and carefully explaining things, so you know what is happening with your claim.
Injured in a Crash Caused by Another Driver? Call for Legal Help
Car crashes can result in severe injuries that permanently alter victims’ lives. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, victims may be eligible to seek compensation for past and future damages related to the crash.
The insurance company is going to be working against you, seeking to pay out as little as possible. Fortunately, you can hire an attorney to assist you. Phillips Law Group’s experienced attorneys are ready to help crash victims seek maximum compensation at no upfront cost.
No risks or upfront fees. Call 1-800-706-3000 .
Jasmine helped me so so much I want to thank her ! And also Aaron , i was always scared after an accident , knowing I would have to deal with lawyers but not here . Luckily I’ve only been in 3 accidents but this time it was fast and easy . And i received all the treatments I needed to help me recover ! Thank you Jasmine and Aaron!
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