Q The insurance company of the other driver who hit me just offered a settlement after my Westlake car accident, but the accident only happened a few days ago. It doesn’t seem like it is enough money to cover all of my costs! What can I do?
Say, “No, thank you.”
The first settlement offer given to you by the other driver’s insurance company should almost never be accepted. This settlement is often much lower than what the actual cost of your accident will amount to. The reason the insurance company offers you the settlement deal up front is to try to get you to accept something lower than what they know you are entitled to receive.
Although it’s tempting to settle quickly and get the money needed to cover your medical bills, this may not be a good idea. Here are a few of the top reasons not to settle your insurance claim right away.
- You may not know the total amount of your injury costs for some time. Broken bones, brain, neck, and spine injuries (Link to Brain, Neck, and Spine Injuries PRACTICE AREA page) are common in Westlake car accidents. These injuries can have long-term impacts that you will need treatment for—often expensive treatment followed by rehabilitative or physical therapy. To ensure that the other driver covers the costs of this care, you must wait until the doctor gives you a full and complete diagnosis and a plan for your medical care. This can take months, as many symptoms do not appear for weeks, or months after a crash.
- You may not know the total amount of your property damages. It may take some time for the body shop and mechanic to determine the full extent of the crash. Before accepting a check from the insurance company, the body shop and mechanic must have finalized their assessment of your property damage.
- You may be able to prove that you were not at fault for any portion of the crash. Sometimes, the insurance company will badger you to accept a smaller settlement because it claims you were partially at fault for the crash. This may not be true, and you deserve to stand up for your rights if you played no part in the collision.
Defending yourself against the insurance company may be more difficult than it seems at first. Contact our Westlake auto accident attorney to put a lawyer on your side skilled at defending you so that you get a settlement that you deserve.