Advice: Don’t Take Your Insurance Company’s First Offer!
“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” – Henry David Thoreau
When you’re injured in a car accident, recovering from your injuries is only part of the story. If it’s ever happened to you, you know the story: first you make a claim with the insurance company, and they make a settlement offer.
The amount is less than you expected. It’s not enough to cover all of your medical expenses, let alone make up for the time spent away from work. You feel stuck, wanting to feel grateful to have any compensation but knowing that the amount offered is unfair at best.
Hang Up and Dial a Personal Injury Lawyer
Some free advice: politely tell them you’ll think about it and hang up the phone. If you accept the first offer, it will likely prevent you from collecting additional compensation.
Always contact a personal injury attorney to review your case before accepting an insurance company’s offer, particularly if you suffered more than just property damage.
Property Damage vs. Personal Injury
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, so they have very specific ways of calculating your insurance. Property damage is simple: the insurance company pays the cost of repairs or replacement of the vehicle.
Injury compensation is far more complex. A broken arm may not yield as much compensation as a disfiguring scar. If a car accident caused chronic disability, you’re likely to be entitled to more.
Personal Injury Compensation
Personal injury compensation is determined by the severity of your injuries, your total medical bills, as well as wage loss. From there, it gets complicated. You’ll also be compensated based on length of treatment and extent of your injuries. Your medical reports will indicate how much pain and suffering you endured as a result of the injury, and you’ll be compensated based on that.
Even more complicated? If your injury is ongoing, your settlement will include an estimate to determine compensation for your ongoing medical treatment.
Why You Shouldn’t Accept Their Offer
You only receive one settlement from the insurance company. If you accept, you’ve waived your right to future compensation. That means you can’t go to them later to ask for more money.
Personal injury attorney Rachel Berenson of Berenson & Associates can help you determine whether your insurance settlement offer is fair. She and her team of personal injury lawyers in Albuquerque, New Mexico can also help you decide whether filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver or individual is viable in your case. Call us at (505) 243-4400 today.