A car accident can throw your life into chaos. Suddenly, schedules can be filled with hospital appointments, therapy sessions, property repair estimates, insurance company calls and the logistics of dealing with pain and suffering occasioned by the injuries sustained in the wreck.
Understandably, it can be tempting to “grab the check and run” when the insurance company approaches you with a settlement offer. After all, cash in hand means you can pay medical bills and fix your car right away. Besides, you will no longer have to deal with claims adjusters. However, before taking this route, there are a number of questions you need to ask. Here are some of them:
Is the offer commensurate to your loss?
It is not unusual for an insurance company to give an offer that does not reflect the true value of your case. After all, insurance companies are in business, and it is in their interest to make as much profit as possible. Before accepting any offer from the insurance company, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the damages to which you are entitled. It is almost impossible to understand what amounts to a reasonable value if you do know what you should be claiming in the first place.
What are your future medical needs?
Reaching a settlement early can work to your disadvantage if you end up with unexpected medical complications down the road. If you accept a settlement only a couple of days or weeks after the accident, you may not realize the severity of your injuries and what it will take to treat them. Sometimes, what seems like a mild backache after a crash may turn out to be a spine injury that requires multiple surgeries and therapy sessions to heal. It is not advisable to reach a settlement before ascertaining your future medical needs.
When you are involved in a car accident, one of the most pressing questions you will need to as is, “when should I settle?” Well, there is no straightforward answer to this question. However, understanding the circumstances of your case and the existing laws that protect you can help you chart the best way forward.