If you are involved in an auto accident, you may soon be contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance agency. That insurance agent will talk to you about what happened and may attempt to get you to settle your case now rather than later.
For some people, getting an offer right away seems amazing, because they think they won’t have to go without financial support. Before you accept any offer, though, you should know the true value of your personal injury claim.
How do you determine how much your personal injury claim is worth?
The first thing you should know is that you won’t know the true value of your claim right away. There is just no way to know the cost of medical care, repairs to your vehicle or other expenses so soon.
It’s important to give yourself time to get the treatments you need and to start seeing the bills roll in before you accept any kind of settlement. You need to know what you have to negotiate for.
Will a settlement offer lowball you?
It’s possible that a settlement could be made that lowballs you. The insurance agency tries to save money when it can, so it may offer you a settlement of $10,000 hoping you’ll take it when your case is actually worth more like $25,000 or even $50,000.
Remember, the expenses you have aren’t the only things you might claim for. You may also want to claim for pain and suffering, disability or other issues that have arisen as a result of the crash. For that reason, you don’t want to settle until you have time to figure out your economic losses and the impact the injury has on your life now and in the future.
Some of the losses you may be able to make a claim for include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Miscellaneous losses
Don’t settle for too little. You have a right to go through your finances first and to determine the real impact of your injuries on your life. You deserve the opportunity to receive fair compensation.