Effective Legal Counsel From A Pender County Native

What happens when you accept a car insurance settlement?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Your plans for the future can unravel in an instant after a car crash. You won’t be making it to work, nor will you be going out with your friends like you had expected to on Friday night. Your plans for at least the next few days, if not the next few months, will change dramatically.

The worse your injuries are, the more changes you can expect in the near future. You might need to take a leave of absence from work while waiting for a broken collarbone to heal or for surgery. You have bills coming in, not the least of which are your hospital bills, and no income to support yourself.

It is a frustrating situation, and when you receive a settlement offer from the insurance company, it can seem like a relief. Now you will have the funds you need to pay your bills and move on with your life. Unfortunately, the settlement might leave you at a financial disadvantage if you accept it without careful review.

A settlement is all you will receive

If you accept the settlement based on your estimate to repair your car and your current hospital bills, you may have the resources you need to pay your immediate costs. However, what happens if physical therapy doesn’t go as well as your doctor hoped?

It could be weeks longer than you anticipated before you return to work. You might even require additional, expensive medical intervention. You’ll have to cover those costs yourself after an insurance settlement. Once you accept the settlement from the insurance company, you don’t have the option of going back to ask for more.

They pay you a fixed amount, and you agree to release them from liability for any future expenses related to that specific claim. The further below the policy limit the settlement offer is, the more likely it is to be insufficient for your needs and to benefit the insurance company more than you.

You don’t have to accept the settlement

When an insurance adjuster tells you that they know what the crash cost you and offer you a specific amount of money, you need to check their math. In fact, you may want to consult with a professional who can give you a more realistic perspective about your current costs and future costs, as well as what rights you have.

Lawyers can evaluate the policy and help negotiate a claim. They can also help you look into other options, such as a personal injury lawsuit. Trying to handle an insurance claim after a car crash without the right support could mean making a big mistake, like accepting a settlement that won’t actually pay your costs.