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Always carefully review a settlement offer after a crash

June 16, 2018

If you pay your insurance premium on time and in full every month, you may believe that your insurance company will do everything it can to support you in the wake of a serious collision. Sadly, many people learn the hard way that this is not always the case. After a major accident involving injuries, you need to carefully examine all offers made by your insurance company.

While you may want to give your insurance company the benefit of the doubt, doing so could end up costing you a lot of money and creating a lot of frustration. For those who have recently been in an accident caused by another person, great care and awareness can help ensure the best possible outcome.

Don’t let desperation override your long-term needs

Immediately after a crash, you may experience serious financial complications. Medical bills may start piling up, as insurance companies wait for more information. You will probably also need to pay for repairs to your car or buy a replacement. Combine that with the loss of income during your convalescence, and an accident can prove to be financially devastating.

When an insurance company offers you a settlement check, it can feel tempting to just take the money to cover your bills. However, doing so could mean that you have future expenses that you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket. Most insurance companies understand that people are in need of financial help after a crash and injury. That desperation can help insurance companies succeed in offering inappropriately low settlement offers.

You need to make sure a settlement covers all of your expenses

Many times, insurance companies will offer much less than the actual cost of your injuries. An amount that seems large when you first see it may not even cover all of your ongoing medical costs, let alone your lost wages. The best way to evaluate an offer is to review what costs you have already incurred after the crash.

That stack of medical bills can give you an idea of your current medical costs. You should know that ongoing treatment, such as physical therapy, can add substantially to those overall expenses. You should also add up the total amount of lost wages or paid time off you’ve had to use after the crash. You should also include the cost of any other needs related to the collision, such as repairing or replacing your car.

Once you know the total amount of current expenses and have an estimate for likely future expenses, you can add those amounts together to determine the minimum acceptable amount for a settlement. If the offer you’ve received is too low, politely let your insurance company know. You may even consider countering the offer with a more reasonable figure. Prepare for potential negotiations, and be ready to support any figures you use.

A Lexington auto accident lawyer can help make sure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.