You were involved in a car wreck in San Diego, CA, you suffered injuries, and now your insurer or that of the at-fault party is offering you a settlement for your claim. Should you take it and move on or are there are a few questions you should consider before signing on the line? The truth is, the answer to this question varies as some settlements are worth accepting while others are not. But, before you apply it to your situation and make a decision, you should take some time to answer the following questions.
- How much is the settlement and what are your medical bills worth?
It is important to look at what the insurer is offering you and compare that to what your medical expenses currently amount to. Is the settlement amount much lower than what you are required to pay for your hospital and doctor’s visits? You also need to consider if you are going to require ongoing care such as therapy and if that is factored into the amount the insurer has provided you with. If you find that the settlement offer is far lower than what you estimate your medical treatments to be worth, you may want to hold off on settling. Now, if your policy or that of the at-fault driver doesn’t compensate for medical expenses, then you may need to consider taking an alternate form of action in order to recover the funds you need. We will discuss what these alternate forms of action are later on.
- How much damage did your vehicle sustain and will the settlement cover the repairs it needs along with the medical bills accrued?
Once you know what your vehicle’s damage is estimated to be worth, you need to be certain your settlement is going to provide you with enough to cover those expenses as well as your medical expenses given the policy pays for that. If the offer is much lower than what you would need to satisfy the bills you now owe, then you may need to ask for more, which is something a San Diego, CA accident attorney can help you with.
- Do you understand the terms of the settlement?
Most insurance companies will provide a car accident victim with a settlement offer early on as they are looking to close the claim and never have to revisit it again. The perks to them doing this is that they are able to provide you with what appears to be a generous offer although you actually haven’t had enough time to truly assess your condition/injuries. Therefore, you don’t know how much you are entitled to or if the settlement will be enough to cover the expenses you have incurred. Something else you need to consider is that in nearly all settlements that are offered, once you accept it, you can no longer pursue the insurer for any additional compensation. Unfortunately, many victims are unaware of this and realize after the fact that they didn’t receive the amount they should have. But once you sign and agree to the terms stipulated in the settlement, there is nothing that can be done.
- Do I need to take an alternate form of action?
If you find that the settlement offer is far too low than what you should actually receive, you may want to consider hiring a CA accident lawyer who can help you either file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or the insurer if they aren’t handling your claim fairly. The truth of the matter is that insurers aren’t looking out for your best interest and aren’t concerned with providing you with the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. However, accident attorneys are which is why they are the professionals you should turn to when you aren’t sure whether you should accept a settlement from an insurer or if the amount they are providing you with isn’t enough.
Your attorney may determine that you should file a civil claim in small claims court if the amount you are seeking is $10,000 or less or if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit in an effort to get more.
With that in mind, if you would like to discuss your recent accident with an accident attorney who focuses on car crash cases or you need further assistance as you are having some issues with your insurer, contact USAttorneys.com so you can be placed in touch with an attorney in the San Diego, CA area now.