A car accident can turn your life upside down in just a matter of seconds. You will likely have many doctor’s appointments, need to repair your vehicle, choose a car accident lawyer, and deal with the insurance company. The insurance company will likely contact you immediately following the crash and offer you a settlement.
It is not uncommon for many people to accept this offer because they are thankful they were offered anything at all. Unfortunately, this is a mistake because the settlement is likely not enough to fully cover the cost of injuries. If you have been in a car accident, below are some details to consider before accepting an injury settlement offer.
Insurers will create a sense of urgency to get you to accept their initial settlement offer by telling you they will not make another offer. It is easy to think that if you do not accept the settlement offer, you will lose out on receiving any compensation. Fortunately, that is not true. Several negotiations will take place before you receive the settlement you deserve and even if you do not reach a settlement, you can take the case to trial to receive the compensation you need.
If you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, they will require that you sign a release of liability. This release protects them from facing liability in the future, even if the offer you accepted was not enough to cover your losses. If you accept a settlement and sign a release, you cannot go back to the insurer in the future, even if you need more compensation.
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is a point in recovery when your injuries are not going to get any worse, but they also will not get any better. The term is often used in workers’ compensation cases, but it applies to personal injury cases, as well. Your injuries may be more severe than you first thought, or you may have additional injuries that do not present symptoms right away. You should ensure you have reached MMI before accepting a settlement offer, or you may not receive the full settlement you deserve.
Insurers will often first offer a settlement amount that will cover immediate expenses such as your current medical bills, lost income, and more. However, you can claim much more than that. The cost of repairing your vehicle, future medical care, a loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering are just a few of the damages you can claim in addition to your immediate expenses.
If you have been hurt in a car accident, our Ohio car accident lawyers at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, can negotiate with the insurer to help you recover the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can get started on your claim.
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