An estimated 2.3 million individuals1 sustained injuries in motor vehicle collisions in 2013 alone. Though the number of injuries related to traffic accidents has decreased over the past years, the costs of these injuries have done the opposite2 due to rising health care costs and other economic factors.
Because of the high costs that crash victims face, it is no surprise that they want to file an insurance claim as soon as possible to get reimbursed for their losses. After reviewing the claim and assessing the value of the case, the insurance company will generally respond with a settlement offer. It is only natural to be inclined to accept this offer immediately—after all, it is convenient to receive the payout as soon as possible and, furthermore, many injured victims believe that the insurance company would not offer less than they should. However, by accepting the initial offer without discussing your case with an attorney, you may be giving up significant compensation to which you are entitled. For this reason, a settlement offer is not necessarily in your best interests in every case.
Things to consider about a settlement
There are many factors to consider when deciding to accept a settlement and an experienced auto accident attorney can help you weigh your options. Some questions you should consider include:
- What are the medical costs you have already incurred?
- What will be the cost of future treatment for this injury?
- Have you lost income and will you be able to return to work soon?
- Have you experienced substantial pain and suffering or other intangible losses as a result of your injury?
- Did the accident leave you with permanent disability or disfigurement?
Accepting the settlement will put money in your pocket faster to help cover your expenses. However, you will also likely have to sign a release and waiver, which prevents you from filing any additional legal claims regarding these accident-related injuries after you accept the settlement. This means that if you do not carefully consider the value of your future medical treatment and lost income, you may accept an offer that is inadequate and have few to no options in the future to make up for it.
Contact a Michigan auto accident lawyer for a free consultation today
Deciding whether to accept an insurance settlement offer should never be taken lightly. Instead, you should carefully review your case with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney you can help you make the right decision in your case. At the office of Michigan Injury Lawyers, we help injured car accident victims through every stage of their case, from an initial insurance claim to filing a legal claim if necessary. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies to prove that you deserve more than an inadequate settlement offer and we can identify when a sufficient insurance offer is likely not possible and further legal steps need to be taken. Please call our office today at 313-438-4357 for help.