Before you file an insurance claim or lawsuit in court, you should have an exact idea about the extent of your injuries. In other words, you need a diagnosis that details your permanent injuries.
Your diagnosis will be helpful in two ways:
- It will show the insurance company or jury the extent of your injuries.
- It will guide you in seeking damages because you will get a better idea of the value of your claim.
In a car accident settlement, you will get one chance to recover financial compensation. You are often put in a difficult situation because you are forced to anticipate your needs in the future today. An attorney’s counsel is important to evaluate your future lost income, potential medical expenses, and other impacts to your life that a car accident leaves on you forever.
Nonetheless, you cannot keep going back to the insurance company or the defendant in the future as you need money. When you reach a settlement agreement, you are releasing the insurance company from any and all future liability in relation to your claim. You end up bearing the risk if you settle your claim for too little. To obtain a final settlement, you must sign the release agreement because it is a condition of every settlement.
The Reasons Behind Receiving Compensation in a Car Accident Case
When you negotiate a permanent injury settlement, you are entitled to both damages that you have suffered in the past and those that you will continue to suffer. It is the future damages that make a permanent injury claim difficult to value.
In every car accident settlement, you are entitled to the following damages as part of your check:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
When you have suffered a permanent injury, there is a chance that you may never work again or be unable to perform your job as you did before the accident. In addition, you will need medical care years into the future, perhaps for the rest of your life.
Valuing Your Claim Could Present Challenges
The challenge is in estimating both what you would have earned in the future and what your medical expenses may cost you. Your health insurance company will not be responsible for paying your medical bills once you have negotiated a settlement. However, medical cost inflation is a very uncertain area. In addition, you may have a difference of opinion with the insurance company over what you may have earned in the future.
Further, pain and suffering is a subjective element of your claim that the insurance company will always attempt to undervalue as part of a settlement agreement. They will likely try to minimize your experience, even when you have suffered a permanent injury. However, you will suffer lifelong effects from a permanent injury that stretch beyond just physical pain and discomfort.
The most critical thing in permanent injury cases is to know the value of your claim before you begin the legal process. The average accident victim does not know how much money they can get for their injuries. You can expect the insurance company knows what your claim is worth, and they will begin with a settlement offer that is far less than that number. They are hoping that you will settle for less than your case is really worth.
You can get quickly informed when you hire an experienced car accident attorney to represent you in the legal process. Your lawyer has the same body of knowledge as the insurance company when it comes to the value of your claim.
Your lawyer has access to experts to help put a number on what you can get for your injuries. They may work with the following:
- A vocational expert who can value your future career path and earnings
- Medical experts who know what care you may need in the future
- Psychologists who can explain the anxiety and depression that you may deal with
- Economists who can provide the future inflation rate to account for increases in your wages and costs
You Have the Ability to Negotiate
The other major thing to know is that you have the capacity to negotiate with the insurance company. You are under no obligation to accept their initial settlement offer – it is exactly that – an offer. They are defending their policyholder, and they are on the other side of the table from you. They do not have the power to dictate your car accident compensation.
If their offer is inadequate to pay you for your injuries, you have the ability to reject it. You can counter with an offer of your own or file a lawsuit in court. Even though you need the money, the insurance company is not in a position to determine the outcome of your case. Only a jury and a court have that power.
Contact a Wilmington Car Accident Lawyer
Remember, you have only one opportunity to ensure your future needs are covered. The lawyers at Horton Mendez are committed to working for you to receive the most money for your car accident injuries.
If you have suffered permanent injuries, you will need legal help to maximize your financial recovery. Call us today at (910) 668-8067 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
What if the insurance company has denied my claim entirely?
You can take your case to court and have a jury decide whether someone else should be held responsible and how much they should pay.
When should I file a claim after my accident?
While many lawyers tell you to rush filing a claim, you should also be in a position where you can put your strongest foot forward. You should also know the value of your claim.
How much will a car accident lawyer cost me?
We are paid on a contingency basis, meaning that we receive a percentage of the proceeds of your case, but only if you win by getting a settlement or jury award.