Should I accept payment from the at-fault driver or at-fault driver’s insurance company?
Involvement in a car accident is scary. It doesn’t matter if your accident is minor or serious, it’s confusing and scary to be involved in an accident. You weren’t expecting to be hit when you left your home or office, and you worry about what happens following an accident. Are you safe? Is your car all right? Is the other driver safe? Will you be able to have your car repaired, or will you be forced to find a new car? There are so many confusing questions going through your mind that can’t be answered right away. Some answers come later, and this often leaves car accident victims feeling confused.
Another problem is your rights. Many accident victims are unaware of their rights. It’s not uncommon for victims to assume they only payout they’re entitled to when someone causes an accident is what their insurance company calls to offer following the accident. This is not always the case, and that’s where a personal injury attorney is beneficial. If you’re not sure what you’re entitled to, call a personal injury attorney today. If you’re wondering whether you should accept the payout from the at-fault party’s insurance company, the answer isn’t always clear.
Consider What Your Accident is Worth
Before you accept the payout from the at-fault party’s insurance company, ask yourself how much you think the accident is worth to you. There are some considerations to make right away, and others you might not be aware of at first.
– Do you have insurance?
– Does your policy cover your injuries and/or damage to your vehicle?
– Are you injured?
– What are your medical bills?
– Do you need extended medical care due to injuries sustained in the accident?
– Are you out of work due to your accident?
– Did you lose your job?
– Can you afford car repairs?
– Do you need to buy a new car?
– Are there any future costs associated with this accident?
It’s not always easy to determine how much you need from an accident. You might not know yet what it costs to repair your car to the state it was prior to your accident when the at-fault party’s insurance company calls with an offer. You might not know the extent of your injuries, how long you’ll be out of work, or if you’ll incur any additional costs in the future because of the accident. What if you’re driving a brand-new car you just put a lot of money down on to cover the cost of a down payment to get payments to an affordable range? Can you afford to do that again, or will you have to drive a less expensive car that doesn’t meet your criteria thanks to someone else’s negligence? There are considerations you must make you might not know to make.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not accounting for your medical bills. Did you see the doctor following the accident? If you didn’t, you might assume you have no injuries. While it’s likely you don’t have any injuries, you simply don’t know until you see the doctor. Not all injuries associated with a car accident are immediately visible, and some manifest themselves at a later date when you begin to notice symptoms appear.
What is The Settlement?
Another question you must ask yourself is how much the settlement is worth to you. Does it seem low in comparison to the damage to your car, and your medical bills? If it does, you’re not going to want to accept the offer. The first offer is always one you reject. You don’t need to accept the first number thrown at you. Your job is to write a letter to the at-fault insurance agency explaining how many medical bills you’ve already incurred, how much damage was done to your vehicle, and how much you feel the damage is worth.
Negotiation is key, and that’s why you should refuse the first offer. If you have extensive medical bills and injuries, a personal injury attorney might be a better solution. Simple accidents with little to no injury and minor damage are easy to negotiate. When you begin considering lifelong medical bills, disability, paralysis, or even death, it’s in your best interest to consider the expertise of a personal injury attorney to assist. If the at-fault driver is the one offering compensation, call an attorney.