After a car accident, you have many choices to make. Some are immediate, like how to get to and from work, what to do about your medical treatment, getting the kids to school, and so on.
You also have long-term decisions to consider. You know that you need financial help for your lost work, medical expenses, and so on, but it can be difficult to figure out which path to take.
Insurance companies will try to offer you a settlement. At first glance, the proposal will be impressive. Remember, however, the business model of any insurance company. They want to take in as much money as possible while spending as little as they can.
Insurance companies will always act in their best interests, and the offer may not be enough to cover your expenses.
Before you take a settlement, here are some things to consider.
You May Not Be Able to Get More Money
Settlements are the insurance company’s way of cutting you off from future benefits. By agreeing to their offer, you are stating that this chunk of money is all you will ever receive from them. Any future problems that arise could be your responsibility.
You May Not Know the Extent of Your Injury
Injuries don’t always present themselves right away. Some develop over time, and others grow worse, even with treatment.
When you take a settlement, you can use only the money you receive. Therefore, if you discover a previously hidden injury, or if your current treatment isn’t working, you must pay for any future medical expenses.
You May Not Know the Extent of Your Property Damage
Cars can be like bodies. You may think you have fixed a problem, only to discover more damage deeper in the car’s insides. After a serious wreck, it’s common to take your car back for multiple repairs.
By taking a settlement, you could run out of money before your car is completely fixed. If your car shows further signs of damage, you must pay for those expenses yourself.
You May Not Be Able to Estimate the Impact on Your Finances
Car accidents can affect your pocketbook beyond injuries and repairs. While recovering or waiting on your car, you could miss work. A settlement may not be enough to recover that lost income.
Furthermore, you could miss out on career opportunities, which means that you lose “potential” income as well. A settlement is not likely going to be enough to pay you back for this loss.
Insurance companies also cover very specific damages. Car accidents can create a ripple effect, leading to damages neither you nor the company expected. By taking a settlement, you may not be able to pursue these extra damages, leaving you to pay for them yourself.
Talk to An Attorney
Before taking an insurance settlement, talk to a lawyer. They can evaluate the settlement to make sure it is fair and reasonable. Furthermore, they can push back against the insurance company and negotiate a better deal. If necessary, they can help you take the matter to court.
If you’ve been in a car accident and don’t know what to do next, reach out to our firm for a free consultation. You can call us at (904) 701-0591 or contact us online.