Costs start piling up the second a crash occurs. Your first thoughts will be to check yourself and everyone out for injuries, not all of the expenses that those injuries will carry.
From the cost to repair or replace the vehicle to emergency medical care, surgeries and physical therapy, total costs for a collision could easily be five or six figures. Especially if you get hurt badly enough need to take time off of work, a crash can quickly lead to financial difficulty.
Receiving a settlement offer from the company ensuring the other driver is an exciting moment when you have no income and more bills every day. However, before you accept the settlement or cash the check, you need to look at it carefully. Settlement offers for insurance claims come with two big risks.
- A settlement ends the insurance company’s liability
Once you accept the settlement, you will have fixed amount to help you cover medical costs, property damages and lost wages that resulted from the collision. Countering an initial offer and negotiating to secure a higher offer is often necessary, but many people shy away from aggressive negotiations and instead accept the first offer made.
The insurance company will happily give you that money because they are no longer responsible for any future losses that you suffer. A settlement, once finalized, severs the obligation of the insurance company to the individual and makes it difficult for the claimant to ever get more compensation.
- The offer may not reflect your actual costs
The bills that you have for a brain injury, spinal cord injury or amputation will continue accruing year after year. The expenses you have now are only part of the total cost of the crash. The settlement that at first seems perfectly adequate to cover all of the bills that you have might fall woefully short of the total financial impact of the crash on your life.
It can be hard to evaluate a settlement if you have no experience with long-term care and significant injuries. Getting help evaluating a settlement and countering it may be crucial to protecting yourself in the wake of a major collision.