When you are involved in a automobile accident and the other driver was found to be at fault, the compensation you get will actually be determined by the actions you take. If you do nothing, chances are good the at-fault driver’s insurance company will make you a settlement offer, but are you in the position to determine if the amount is fair or correct? At times, the settlement check is so big that the victim takes the cash without realizing they settled for far too low an amount.
If the other driver is at fault, the best way to determine the right compensation amount is to speak with an attorney, here’s why;
Getting an Immediate Settlement Offer
While you are recovering in the hospital, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may want to get you seen by their physician as well. When the settlement offer comes in soon after, it is a good indication their doctor agrees with the determination by your doctor, and they want to close the case before you get an attorney. If the settlement check is big enough, you will most likely have never seen a check that big, and the idea of keeping it all to yourself often sways the victim to make the wrong decision.
If you were to stop and get a personal injury lawyer before making the decision, despite the at-fault driver’s insurance company saying they may pull the offer, you will discover your lawyer feels you can get many times more than the check was worth.
The Severity of Your Injuries
When the at-fault driver’s insurance company makes a settlement offer right out of the gate, make no mistake about it, they recognize this is serious and they want to pay the least possible before you realize what those injuries entail. When you are working with a local personal injury lawyer, you’ll not only see your family doctor, you’ll be seen and treated by the top physicians in the country. Now with expert eyes on those injuries, the determination can be made how severe they are, and how long into the future the injuries will negatively impact your life.
Your attorney has years experience being able to put an accurate price on the impact of those injuries today, tomorrow, and well into your later years.
Cash Now May Not Last Long
Perhaps the check offered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company is life-changing, and you think you hit the lottery and don’t need your own attorney. What you don’t realize now because your mind and judgement is clouded by the huge chunk of change being handed to you is that money might not last as long as you think. Once you accept the check and sign on the dotted line, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is off the hook and you are now on your own. If you need follow-up treatments, you pay out of that money.
Each time you need to see a doctor for the rest of your life because of the injury, a piece of the settlement goes away until it is all gone in less time than you think. This money was supposed to outlive you, not the other way around.
Understanding Where the Money Goes
Regardless the size of the settlement check, it is much smaller than you could have gotten with the help of a professional personal injury lawyer. Not only are you paying for your treatments moving forward, any pain you suffer, any loss wages, and any negative impact to your way of life, comes out of the money. Most victims discover years after they took the money they are broke!
Running out of money is something your attorney would have anticipated and made certain you had more than enough money to live out those later years very comfortably.
As you can see, there are too many factors that come into play for you to make the right judgement call on the correct dollar amount of your settlement check. Your attorney will make certain your are awarded far more than you think you are entitled to.