Know The Real Value of Your Accident Claim Before You Settle It

One of the most common mistakes accident victims make is settling their claim for less compensation than they are legally entitled to receive. This usually happens when a person settles a claim alone, based on what an insurance adjuster says he or she is entitled to recover. But insurance adjusters work for the insurance company, so you should never believe how much they say you can recover after an accident. It is up to you to find out the real value of your accident claim so you can properly evaluate if a settlement offer is fair.

Your lawyer can tell you the real value of your claim

Your lawyer, who is truly on your side after an accident, will tell you everything the law entitles accident victims to be compensated for and thus the real value of your claim. You may be surprised at all the different types of damages you can receive — and which insurance adjusters likely won’t tell you about. Though recoveries depend on many factors, some types of damages accident victims can usually receive are past and future medical expenses (including doctor’s bills, prescription costs, therapy costs, transportation to and from health care providers, and all other medical-related expenses), past and future lost wages (including money for reduced earning capacity the accident caused), pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement and property damage.

Insurance adjusters often push for a fast settlement

Insurance adjusters often try to get accident victims to accept a fast settlement — before the real value of the claim is known. Adjusters do this because soon after the accident, it’s too early for the victim to know the full extent of his or her injuries, how long it will take to recover, how much work will be missed, how much medical bills will be, whether pain will be temporary or long lasting and other factors which determine how much compensation he or she is entitled to receive. As a result, soon after the accident it’s hard (if not impossible) to put a fair value on how much a person should receive as compensation. Insurance adjusters take advantage of this by shortly after the accident offering a small amount and hoping the accident victim accepts it, thereby saving the insurance company from having to pay the full amount of compensation later.

Once you settle, there’s rarely any going back

Another key reason why you should know the real value of your accident claim before settling is that it’s very difficult to undo a settlement. Only in rare cases (such as fraud) can a settlement be canceled and you get the chance to receive more compensation. In addition, there would likely be great effort and expense to cancel a settlement, since it would almost definitely take a lawsuit to do this, as an insurance company would not voluntarily agree to cancel a settlement. It’s much easier to know the value of your claim before settling than trying to undo a bad settlement later.

After an accident, it’s vital to know all the damages you can receive and the value of your claim. You must independently know this, and not rely on what an insurance adjuster tells you. To get a good estimate of the value of your claim, call your lawyer. Unlike an insurance adjuster, your lawyer is truly on your side and will tell you all the damages you’re entitled to receive. This will increase your chances of obtaining the maximum recovery. It will also help make sure you don’t have to pay for any medical bills and other expenses out of your own pocket because you mistakenly accepted a low settlement.

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