Insurance claim processes can be very challenging. Insurance adjusters can be rude and intimidating, and the entire process is often overwhelming for anyone who is still recovering from a traumatic experience. This could force you to agree to a settlement offer from an insurance company quickly.
Most victims feel that they don’t have options or are worried about the deadline and simply settle their claims. Sometimes, insurance companies take advantage of this situation, and most victims agree to premature settlements that do not cover all their losses.
When settling your personal injury case, you should be aware of the settlement offer you deserve. Once you agree to a settlement offer, you don’t have the option to re-negotiate. That’s why you should consider these six things before agreeing to a settlement offer for your injuries.
1. Is it a reasonable offer?
The first offer by the insurance company is usually the lowest one. Before accepting the settlement offer, you should compare the offer with the calculated value of your claim.
Keep in mind that a reasonable settlement covers both current and future damages, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and non-economic damages. It should reflect the extent of your injuries and the strength of your case. You should accept a fair settlement that is close to or higher than this value.
2. Did you check all the sources of compensation?
In a few cases, there may be more than one party liable for your injuries. You must identify all the liable parties and file claims against them.
Based on the specific details of your insurance and case, you will have different possibilities for which insurance coverages or companies can pay for your expenses.
3. Is the loss of future earning capacity covered?
You can get compensation for loss of future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from working or reduce your ability to work after the accident.
The loss of future earnings is calculated by considering several factors, such as
It is important to contact an expert witness, such as a vocational rehabilitation specialist or an economist, to calculate your loss of future earnings, which needs to be included in your settlement demand.
4. Does your settlement account for non-economic losses?
Non-economic damages are intangible losses that impact your quality of life. These damages normally include
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Before accepting the settlement offer, you should consider how your injuries have impacted your quality of life. Moreover, it is necessary to consider how long you will sustain these effects and how they will affect your future.
5. Have you checked the insurance policy limits of the liable party?
If the defendant’s insurance policy limits are less than the value of your claim, you cannot recover the full amount of your damages from the insurance provider.
In this situation, you can file a claim against the liable party’s personal assets or seek other sources of compensation. It is necessary to get a copy of a declaration page or insurance policy from the insurance company or the responsible party and check their policy limits before agreeing to the settlement offer.
6. Have you taken the advice of an attorney?
Consulting an attorney offers you the chance to discuss your concerns and understand your legal options. An attorney can help you get the proper compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages. If you get a settlement offer from an insurance company, you should discuss it with your attorney.
By doing so, they’ll let you know whether it is insufficient or fair. They will help you avoid the common mistakes that can weaken your claim, such as signing a release form without reading their terms and conditions.
We hope our article has helped you. Consider the factors above before agreeing to a settlement offer for your damages.