Accepting An Insurance Settlement: What Are Your Options?
When you have been involved in a car accident, you will be approached by the insurance company representing the at-fault driver with a settlement offer. Many times, this will begin shortly after the accident took place. The insurance company is offering this settlement as a way to absolve themselves from responsibility for your losses.
In most cases, the first few settlement offers that they will make will be very low. It is their belief that if they can get you to accept quickly, they will not have to pay everything that you are entitled to as a victim. While this is not fair in any way, it is standard operating procedures for an insurance company.
It is very important for you to understand that despite the pressure they are going to put on you to accept their offer, you have the right to say no. You do not have to accept any of their offers. The only thing that you should do is hire a personal injury attorney and allow them to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
A personal injury lawyer New York based website, states the following about hiring a lawyer to negotiate your personal injury claim “Your attorney can also help you either negotiate a settlement for your car accident losses or make a strong case in court so you can get the compensation you deserve….When you or a loved one has been hurt in a wreck, you need to take action to get the money you need to cover your losses in full.”
Why Hire A Car Accident Attorney?
• Medical coverage
• Loss of wages
• Repair or replacement of vehicle
• Pain and Suffering
• Personal property damages
• Loss of consortium
There may be additional losses that are covered in your state.
Additionally, issues like long-term care, loss of future earnings, and if a disability occurred compensation for that disability may need to be included in the settlement. Often, insurance companies “forget” these other items.
Hiring an attorney will also ensure that any offer they are providing to cover these items is fair. Again, if the insurance company can offer less than what the damages are worth, they will. An attorney will carefully review any offer and decide if it is full and fair.
Sadly, these insurance companies that are paid to provide coverage for these specific events are more worried about their bottom line. It takes legal action to push them to make the right decisions and honor the very policies that they issue.
If you are still not satisfied with a settlement offer that is made through your attorney, you can request that your attorney take the case to trial. When you go to trial, the Court will put your case before a jury and allow the jury to decide on any award that you receive. While this can be beneficial at times, it can also backfire for the injured party.
Many times when a case goes to trial, the victim is awarded a considerably larger settlement than what was offered. However, the insurance company will be very displeased at this outcome and will continue to fight the award. The case could continue through the appellate process for several years, leaving the victim unable to cover expenses during this time. For this reason, most attorneys will discourage a trial.
Hiring an attorney will allow you to protect your rights and receive the fairest settlement for your injuries and losses.
Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches car accident claims. She has discovered that laws concerning accident victims vary from state to state. If you want to learn more about defending your accident case, you can use search terms like personal injury lawyer New York online to find relevant information.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atgeist/8718364687
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