If you have been injured in a car accident caused because of the negligent action or inaction of someone else, you have a legal right to pursue compensation for your losses against that negligent party. Usually, this means pursuing a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In many cases, the insurance company will make an offer to settle the claim. In other words, they will make you a monetary offer for you to accept in exchange for you agreeing to not taking the case to court or seeking further legal action. This is why entering into a settlement agreement is a big step. It is final and the agreement is binding. Settlement agreements include liability releases. Through signing the release, you are saying that the insurance company is not responsible for any payments beyond that set forth in the settlement agreement. It is your final chance to seek adequate compensation from them for your losses.
Accepting a Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company
The importance of taking necessary care in evaluating whether or not to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company cannot be understated. First, know that insurance companies are notorious for undermining the value of claims. They will go to great lengths to avoid paying out more than the very bare minimum. This is one of the reasons why a settlement offer from an insurance company should be approached with great trepidation.
When evaluating the strength of a settlement offer, remember what the settlement amount should account for. It should account for your medical expenses resulting from your accident injuries. It should account for the cost of future treatment for your injuries. Any lost income and loss of future earning capacity resulting from your injuries should also be included as should compensation for pain and suffering.
Remember when considering a settlement offer that injuries can be much more serious than they may appear at first. In fact, the full extent of your accident injuries may take some time to fully present themselves. This is why it is so often recommended that a person avoid accepting a settlement offer until it has been deemed that they have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Essentially, MMI is a determination made by your treating physician stating that your injuries are not going to improve anymore. It could still mean that you require continued care to manage your injuries, but, while this may prevent them from getting worse, it is unlikely that they will show any further improvement.
Once you have reached MMI, you will have a more solid understanding regarding your future medical care and a better idea of the full range of medical expenses you needed to properly address your injuries.
New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys
At Levin & Malkin, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is well-versed in the games insurance companies play to try and get out of paying what a person is owed. We stand up and fight these big companies to hold them accountable for paying our clients what they are legally entitled to. Contact us today.
Posted in: Car Accidents