After a catastrophic car crash, you may be approached by an insurance representative to make a settlement offer. Although it can be tempting to accept a lump sum payment, you must be cautious before you make a decision. After you accept the settlement, you won’t be able to demand more compensation later. The initial settlement offer that an insurance company will make is always lesser than the value of your insurance claim. Before you let yourself get persuaded by a claims adjuster, consult a boise idaho auto accident lawyer, so they can handle insurance talks on your behalf. When it comes to personal injury settlements, here are the do’s you must keep in mind:
Understand Your Claim’s True Value
You can only effectively demand a settlement amount or respond to a settlement offer if know the value of your personal injury claim. As an injured car accident victim, you can be entitled to damages such as economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Some of these damages are not easy to calculate and understand, you need an attorney to help you with this.
Your lawyer will investigate your injury claim and calculate your damages. They take into account different possible losses and get expert opinions if needed. Depending on the type of injury you suffer and its severity, you may have to add up your medical bills, missed work, and lost earning potential. Also, it might be important to assign a figure to the decline in your quality of life that you may experience if your injury will change your relationships and stop you from pursuing your favorite hobbies.
Assess the Insurance Coverage of the At-Fault Driver
Some drivers and companies buy policies with substantial policy limits; however, some may just settle with the minimum state requirements. Regardless of how significant your emotional and financial losses are, your compensation is limited by the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage. You must determine the insurance policies that apply in your claim and their limits. You might need to file claims against the liability insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and personal injury protection of the other party.
Consult with a Skilled Attorney
Although you can settle your claim on your own, it may not be in your best interest. An experienced attorney can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company for you. Later on, you might discover your injuries are more serious than you thought and you must seek additional compensation for them. That is why your lawyer will advise you against accepting the insurance company’s initial offer.