Deciding on an Offer After an Accident
If a careless driver caused you to be injured in an accident, you may soon be offered money from the insurer. The at-fault driver, if they are insured, may contact you very quickly after an accident to offer you compensation. For some information on what that offer means and what you should do, read below.
Don't be surprised if the amount you are offered is disappointingly low. The other side may gamble that you won't know how much you should be paid after the accident. Wise victims won't accept a lowball offer without discussing it with a personal injury lawyer. If you don't accept the lowball offer, don't worry — nothing bad will happen. Your accident case doesn't rest on that first offer. However, a low offer is a sign that you need a lawyer to help you with your case.
When an Offer Is Inadequate
You may be subject to several more offers as you begin to seek compensation for your injuries. You and your lawyer must decide how much you are owed because of the accident. Once you know how much the other side owes you, you can seek that sum with confidence and legal support.
What Is Next?
Here are some events you can expect once you contact a lawyer, and they review your case:
Send a Demand Letter: Your lawyer will create a letter that details how the accident happened, how you can prove it, and how much you want to be paid in compensation.
Negotiate: The first option is to negotiate with the insurer. It may be possible to negotiate a higher settlement amount by providing additional evidence of damages. For example, you may need additional medical treatment in the future because of the seriousness of the injuries.
File a Lawsuit: If negotiations fail, the next option is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. A lawsuit allows the injured party to seek compensation directly from the at-fault driver rather than relying on the insurance company. Though a settlement is the preferred way to deal with a personal injury case, many cases must be settled by a judge and jury.
It is important to keep in mind that each case is unique, and the best course of action will depend on the specific circumstances involved. It is helpful to consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases to determine the best course of action. A personal injury attorney will work to get you paid for your losses.