Should You Accept an Insurance Company Settlement Offer After a Car Accident?
The answer is less certain when you are going it alone. How do you know whether the amount of the settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurer is sufficient to cover all of your damages? What if you could have received more? If you reject the first offer you get, how do you know that you will get another?
This guide from the Maryland car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras will help you decide whether you should accept the insurance company’s offer after your car accident. If you still have questions, give us a call at (410) 694-7291 and we can answer your questions for free.
- Are You Required to Accept an Offer of Settlement from an Insurance Company?
- Should You Accept the Very First Accident Settlement Offer?
- Reasons Why You Should Not Accept the First Insurance Offer
- How Much Your Claim is Really Worth?
- What to Do If You Are Given an Extremely Low Settlement Offer
- Countering an Insurance Company’s Accident Settlement Offer
- Rejecting an Insurance Company’s Accident Settlement Offer
- If You Reject the Insurance Offer, Will You Have to Go to Court?
- Should a Car Accident Lawyer Handle Further Negotiations With the Insurance Company?
- How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help With Your Settlement Claim
- How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Resolve Your Case For a Higher Amount
Are You Required to Accept an Offer of Settlement from an Insurance Company?
You are under no obligation to accept an offer of settlement presented to you by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. There are a number of actions you can take. You can reject the offer, counter it, or hire a car accident lawyer to represent you in further settlement negotiations.
You can negotiate and accept a settlement offer from an insurance company up until and even during your lawsuit. You may choose to settle at any point up until the court reaches a decision on your case. For more information on how to file a car accident lawsuit in Maryland, call our attorneys today.
Should You Accept the First Settlement Offer?
Any car accident lawyer with extensive experience in car crashes knows how insurance companies work and will tell you not to accept the first offer.
If you have been handling your case on your own and the very first offer seems fair and covers your expenses, you can feel free to accept it. In many cases, it can save you time, frustration, and attorney fees. You should note, however, that a settlement made quickly or accepted too early may not be to your advantage.
Initial settlement offers are designed to pay out as little as possible as the insurer is in the business of settling your car accident case for the lowest possible amount. Often the very first offer is way too low once other factors are considered. For example, if your medical treatment has not begun or is not complete, there is no way to determine your actual damages.
Offers readily made at the start of your insurance claim save the insurance company work and potentially huge sums of money. Settling fast means they hope you will accept the first, and smaller, amount before you fully understand what your damages are and how much your claim is really worth.
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, the severity and extent of your car accident injuries may not be apparent right away. Minor injuries can turn out to be much more serious than expected. Still, if you returned to work the very day, and your vehicle damage and medical bills are covered, you may want to accept the money being offered and move on.
It’s tempting to just get things over with, especially when you need the money, but agreeing to an early settlement may cost you more money in the long run. Don’t be pressured by insurance company tactics designed to push you into accepting the very first offer. They may say that the amount being offered is already at their limit of authority or that it may be the last time they can make such an offer.
Don’t be misled. At a minimum, take a few days to think about it. You can reject or counter the first settlement offer with a more reasonable amount that adequately meets your needs. When you are considering a settlement offer from an at-fault driver’s insurance company, remember that you can consult with our Kent County, MD car accident lawyers at any step along the way.
Will the First Offer Be the Last?
Many victims wonder whether rejecting an insurance company’s settlement offer will leave them without an offer permanently. This is rarely the case. Remember, insurance companies have their own motivation to reach a settlement with car accident victims. If you are concerned about rejecting your first offer, you can always send a counter offer instead. No matter what, you should never feel like you are boxed into a corner. That feeling is how insurance companies are able to succeed in getting you to accept less than you deserve. For more information rejecting and countering insurance settlement offers, speak to our Maryland car accident lawyers today.
The Other Person’s Insurance Company Does Not Have Your Interests in Mind
Insurance companies have only one concern when it comes to settlement offers: their own bottom line. For this reason, insurance company representatives and claims adjusters will do whatever they can to get you to accept less money than you deserve. This includes playing on the victim’s natural tendency to reach for the cash that is immediately available, even if it is substantially less than they deserve to compensate for the accident.
A car accident victim may feel overwhelmed by the medical bills that are piling up. For this reason, it is natural for one to feel apprehensive towards adding legal fees to the equation. However, you should know that our attorneys are able to work on a contingency fee structure. Contingency fees are paid to lawyers at the resolution of a case (either at settlement or court decision) and are based on a predetermined percentage of the total compensation that the victim receives. In other words, our Maryland car accident lawyers only get paid once you get paid.
Once the insurance company sees that you have retained legal counsel, they will start to take your claim more seriously. You may even get a revised settlement offer right off the bat.
Anything You Say to Insurance Can Be Used Against You
There are other ways that a Maryland car accident attorney can be helpful to you immediately. Specifically, your lawyer can communicate with the insurance company so that you don’t have to.
Why is this important? Because what you say to the insurance representatives can come back to hurt you. Maryland courts allow statements made by plaintiffs to the opposing party’s insurance representatives to be used against the plaintiff in court. it does not matter whether the statement is made in person, over the phone, or in an email.
Insurance companies can twist your words to limit the value of your compensation or prevent you from recovering entirely. Merely saying that you are sorry about the accident could be seen by a Maryland court as an admission of contributory negligence. Under Maryland law, a plaintiff who is found to be contributorily negligent (or partially responsible for the accident and subsequent injuries) may be barred entirely from recovery.
Insurance representatives and claims adjusters are well aware of this legal trap and will attempt to get you talking in hopes that you accidentally say something that they can use against you. the best defense against these deceptive tactics is having your Maryland car accident attorney communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. Not only will you absolve yourself of the responsibility to take care over every word, but you will also remove yourself from a stressful and unfamiliar situation that our lawyers are well equipped to handle. Before making any statements or agreeing to anything with the other party’s insurance company, make sure that you have the help of one of our Maryland car accident lawyers.
Reasons Why You Should Not Accept the First Insurance Offer
Above, we discussed whether you should accept an insurance company’s first offer. However, this point is too important not to emphasize further. There are four reasons why you should look at the first offer from an insurance company with healthy skepticism.
Insurance Companies Are Not Working for You
Insurance companies are in business to turn a profit. One way to increase profits is to limit or deny paying claims. No matter how sympathetic an adjuster might sound on the phone, they are working to limit their company’s liability. They will use anything you say to deny or reduce your claim.
An Insurance Company is Not Factoring Pain and Suffering
If you are a car accident victim, you are looking to be compensated for your damages. Typically, people consider their medical expenses and lost wages the extent of their financial losses. However, you are entitled to pain and suffering, among various other categories of damages. Insurance companies are generally not including the full breadth of damages available when calculating an initial offer. In another section, we discuss how our Maryland car accident attorneys will thoroughly value your claim.
The Offer is Too Low
Insurance companies know this is a negotiation. A counteroffer is expected – though there is a hope that an accident victim will accept an initial offer because they need money. Therefore, the initial offer will be lower than an insurance company is probably willing to pay.
The Insurance Company Will Likely Offer More
While an insurance company hopes that an accident victim will accept the first offer, it knows it is unlikely. In most cases, an insurance company will be willing to negotiate to avoid the cost of litigation. However, if you do not press for a more reasonable settlement offer, it will not be forthcoming. Our Maryland car accident attorneys are available to handle your negotiations.
How Much is Your Car Accident Claim Really Worth?
Unless you work for a personal injury law firm or a car insurance company, you probably have no way of knowing what your car accident claim is truly worth. Are your physical injuries and pain and suffering worth $1,500, $15,000, or $150,000? For example, torn ligaments in a knee will have a vastly different settlement value for an older victim with a desk job versus a victim who is a young professional athlete.
Insurance companies will try to get you to settle your claims for as little as possible, and if you don’t know the reasonable settlement value of your claims, you may be in danger of accepting an offer that is too low. When you are dealing with serious injuries that include intangible damages that are more difficult to prove, going it alone does not make sense financially.
Have You Completed Your Medical Treatment?
When considering the settlement offer from an at-fault driver’s insurer, it is critical to determine whether you have reached maximum medical improvement. This is the point where you are fully healed or have reached a place where you can no longer improve.
Keep in mind that you probably won’t know the full nature and extent of the injuries you sustained in the car crash for days, weeks, or even months after the accident.
For these reasons, it’s often not wise to enter into a quick settlement with an insurance company before you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Once you accept the accident settlement offer, the case is over. Your settlement will likely include a release of all future claims.
Have You Included All of Your Damages?
There are certain kinds of damages that are covered by an accident settlement offer. Damages can be financial, physical, mental, or emotional. They can reimburse you for the expenses accumulated after the accident, as well as expenses that may be incurred in the future.
If your vehicle was damaged beyond repair, you are entitled to damages for the replacement value of the vehicle. If you had to pay for car repairs those costs are recoverable. You will also be entitled to out of pocket costs, like the use of a rental car.
If items in your car, like a laptop or a cell phone, were damaged as a result of the car wreck, you are entitled to compensation for those items. If your bike was attached to a bike rack on your car, you are entitled to compensation. If your clothing, watch, eyeglasses, briefcase, or other personal items were ruined in the crash, you are entitled to the fair market value of the property that was lost.
A settlement offer will almost always include the cost of medical care you received as a result of the car crash. These damages can be a large part of your settlement because, not only do they provide reimbursement for treatment you’ve already received, they may compensate you for the estimated cost of medical care and treatment you will need in the future as a direct result of the accident.
If you are unable to work after your car accident, you may also be entitled to compensation for lost salary and wages. This includes the money you immediately lost by not being able to work, as well as the money you would have received in the future, but for the accident. Lost bonuses, promotions, used vacation time, or stock options may be compensable. the loss of earning capacity directly attributable to your car crash may also increase the amount of your damages.
Physical Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are such far-reaching and critical parts of your damages that a “multiplier” is often used to come up with a fair offer, or conversely an appropriate demand. it serves as a rough estimate, where pain and suffering is calculated as being worth some multiple of the total medical bills and lost wages. it can be anywhere from 1 to 5 times the value of those losses.
Physical pain and suffering from bodily injuries sustained at the hands of an at-fault driver’s negligence may account for the highest portion of damages included in your settlement offer. it includes actual pain and discomfort, whether temporary or permanent. You may also be entitled to compensation for future pain and suffering if your treatment will require further surgeries, or other invasive treatment.
Mental Pain and Suffering
You may also be entitled to compensation for the emotional trauma and mental anguish you suffered as a result of the car crash. This can manifest itself in various conditions including severe shock, fear, anger, depression, anxiety, mood swings, loss of appetite, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, or sleep disturbances.
You may also be entitled to ongoing care for persistent mental pain and suffering that can be attributed to the accident. Ascertaining the detrimental effect of a car crash can be difficult and often results in extended negotiations. Such emotional distress damages are meant to compensate you for the psychological impact of your injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries
If you have soft tissue injuries, they may appear as neck strains or sprains. Often described as whiplash, the sudden jerking of the neck and head backward and forward can cause serious injury. the violence of the impact can also affect your back. Pay attention to how you are feeling in the days after the accident and seek treatment. These injuries are not readily picked up by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an X-Ray, or other diagnostic tests.
Loss of Enjoyment
When injuries caused by the at-fault driver’s negligence affect the day-to-day enjoyment of your life, those damages are compensable. Bodily injuries can prevent you from enjoying things you were previously interested in, like hobbies, exercise, or other recreational activities.
You may also be entitled to damages if you can no longer enjoy quality time with your children in the ways that you did prior to the car accident. If you can no longer play with them, hug them, attend their games and school events, or emotionally be there to nurture and care for them, you can seek compensation. Settlement amounts often reflect the number of children you have, as well as their ages.
Loss of Mobility
Your car accident injuries may have been severe enough to cause limitations to what you can do each day. the loss of mobility and motor functions may keep you from performing daily activities like buttoning your own shirt, preparing meals, or vacuuming the carpets in your home. You may need to hire help to accomplish those things and can seek compensation to cover those expenses.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is legalese for the loss of companionship with your spouse. In a lawsuit, it is filed jointly by both spouses and typically relates to the negative impact the car accident injuries have had on your relationship, including a lack of intimacy and companionship or the inability to maintain a sexual relationship.
Factors Affecting the Value of Your Car Accident Claim
The severity and extent of your damages directly correlate to the settlement amount being offered. Hospital surgeries will almost always result in higher damage awards.
The lawyer that you hire to represent you will have an effect on what the insurer deems to be the value of your claim. Are they from a high-powered law firm with millions of dollars in recovery? Have they handled these types of cases before? Insurers will know whether your car accident lawyer means serious business, or if they are a local lawyer just starting out.
Insurance companies keep records of everything. They will surely have a statistic regarding their likelihood of keeping the settlement offer to the lowest amount possible against your chosen representative. Insurers will also check your credit rating, potential criminal record, or lawsuits you may be involved in. They will do whatever they can to justify the amount of their offer and push you or a less experienced lawyer into settling for less.
Age and occupation are common factors affecting the value of your claim. Other factors could include whether you are married, and the age and number of children you have. Another factor is whether the claimant is a man or a woman. For example, it is arguably more traumatic for a woman to suffer disfigurement or permanent scars.
There are a multitude of other factors that only an experienced lawyer like our Catonsville, MD car accident attorneys will know and recognize. Factors affecting the value of your claim may include the time of the accident, where it occurred, where you live, the number of passengers in the car, the type of injuries suffered, the type of treatment required, type of vehicle you were driving, your destination, etc..
Are Your Medical Records Complete?
While reviewing your settlement offer consider whether all your medical records are complete.
It may be difficult to get your hands on all of your medical records and bills from your healthcare provider. Smaller healthcare offices may be understaffed, and larger medical facilities may have complicated procedures in place for you to get copies of your own medical records.
Insurers will want releases for your medical records, but don’t rely on those records being full and complete. Request separate copies for yourself.
You will be better prepared in crafting your counteroffer or in meeting with a potential car accident lawyer. By evaluating those records, you can see what the insurer relied on in coming up with a settlement amount. There may be something negative that goes against your claim. You can and should counter those items specifically.
It’s possible that what your doctor told you during treatment is not reflected in the medical statement placed in your file. Perhaps, there is no specific causation or future limitations in the physician notes that all medical professionals must file. This information is critical because you must be able to prove the physical and emotional injuries you sustained were the direct result of the car accident caused by the other driver.
Are Your Hospital Bills Complete?
In addition to your medical records, you must determine whether your medical and hospital bills are complete. Physicians often charge for their services separately, so you could receive separate bills from the emergency room doctor, surgeon, cardiologist, etc.
Ambulance bills may be expected, but hospitals compartmentalize and can send out bills for radiology, pathology, and other diagnostic tests. Those costs come at a premium if conducted on an emergency basis. it may take time for you to gather the proof necessary to determine the true cost of medical expenses incurred as a result of your car crash.
Lack of Health Insurance
If you have no health insurance, a car accident lawyer may refer you to a medical professional who will agree to defer payment until your case is resolved. More importantly, even with a settlement in hand, your car accident lawyer may send you to experts who can determine the extent and severity of your damages in ways that had not been done previously.
Even if you have health insurance, our experienced Garrett County car accident lawyers will know where further investigation may be needed. They can request the services of trained medical specialists who often require additional testing that can significantly bolster your claim for damages.
Once you have an accident settlement offer, be aware that medical liens may be placed upon your settlement or possible judgment. If, over the course of your claim, you receive benefits from your health insurance, disability, or workers’ compensation, that insurer may have a lien on any settlement or court judgment you may receive.
The benefit of having our Baltimore personal injury attorney for your claim is that they will explain the lien process to you and may even help to get the lien holder to reduce its lien, leaving you with more money overall.
Attorneys can help reduce those liens by negotiating with Medicare, Medicaid, disability claims, veterans’ affairs, workers’ compensation, hospitals, or other health insurers.
What to Do If You Are Given an Extremely Low Settlement Offer for Your Car Accident Claim
Expect that the initial offer from the at-fault driver’s insurer will be low. it is the job of the insurance adjuster to pay as little as possible. the adjuster may argue that the low offer is actually at the limit of their authority or they may suggest they are not sure if the offer can be made again. Don’t fall for these statements from an insurer. the longer they hold on to their money the more interest the insurance company makes on the money they are holding back from you.
In most cases, it’s actually better to let the insurance company make an offer. If you present an amount in an initial demand letter, and your offer is too low, you’ve set the ceiling for how much you will get paid. If the settlement demand is too high it won’t be taken seriously.
Be aware that even a ridiculously low offer indicates a willingness to settle your car accident case without a lawsuit. Once the offer is made, you can counter it with a more reasonable amount that you can readily prove, you can reject the offer and hope that negotiations stay open, or you may decide to seek the advice of an experienced car accident lawyer in Baltimore or elsewhere.
How to Counteroffer the Insurance Company’s Initial Settlement Offer Following a Car Accident
If you have physical injuries, property damage, or pain and suffering not covered by the settlement offer you received, a counteroffer is a logical next step. You can counter the insurance company’s offer and request a more reasonable amount. Focus on the aspects of your claim that show you’re entitled to more compensation for your injuries.
Pay particular attention as to why the offer is so low and respond to those specifically. Are your medical bills deemed too expensive, is your car estimate too high, are your therapy costs not being covered? Property damage is easier to prove and is not generally the sticking point.
The higher your proven medical expenses, the clearer it is to the insurance company that you either suffered longer than other claimants or underwent more severe injuries at the start, or both.
Persuade the Insurer to Raise the Settlement Offer
Consider how the car crash has affected your life and how it has impacted you financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally. You must put together clear, logical, and persuasive arguments that you can back up with evidence.
To succeed in your counteroffer, take the time to describe the extent of your pain and suffering and its effect on your life, in as much detail as possible. These intangible or non-economic damages are difficult to quantify. the amount is often disputed, so the more information you can provide the better.
Relay how the emotional and mental distress you have suffered is the direct result of the at-fault driver’s negligence. Note that the detrimental impact on your life is clearly the result of the car accident. Whenever possible, these statements should be supported by documentation from your doctors or therapists.
Certain types of injuries are more difficult to prove, and they may be strongly disputed by the art-fault driver’s insurer. If you have soft tissue injuries, for example, an insurer may deem your injuries to have been exaggerated or inflated. Many times, these injuries, known more familiarly as “whiplash,” are treated by chiropractors or physical therapists. Juries tend to be more skeptical about such injuries and insurance companies know this.
In order to persuade the insurer to raise their insurance offer when the majority of your pain and suffering is due to soft tissue injuries, you must explain very specifically how your injuries have affected your mobility, your enjoyment of life, your ability to work, loss of time with children, etc. For this purpose, always retain any correspondence with your medical professionals about the severity of your injuries. This includes contact information, billing statements, and diagnostic materials where possible. If your case goes to court, you will need to rely on this information for both an assessment of damages and also to demonstrate that your injuries were directly caused by the car accident.
When you are seeking damages for emotional and mental distress, it’s imperative that you provide the most detailed information possible regarding the emotional trauma and upheaval has had on your life as a result of the car crash. the emotional upheaval does not end after impact, in fact that is often just the beginning.
Victims of car crashes are affected differently. the immediate and long-lasting effects of the injuries sustained may be hard to quantify. Help the insurer understand how your case is separate and distinct. Describe the frequency and extent of your resulting shock, anger, fear, depression, anxiety, mood swings, sleep disturbances, etc. Reiterate how the at-fault driver’s negligence is the only reason for your injuries.
The Counteroffer Must be Reasonable and Acceptable to You
To be persuasive, all claims must be reasonable and should be backed up with extra medical documentation. For example, a more detailed explanation from your doctor regarding the severity and impact of your injuries. In addition to doctor’s notes, perhaps you can add a diary you’ve been keeping regarding the negative effects on your life pursuant to the accident, or a log of all your medications, or a timeline indicating when and why treatments were required.
Counter with a figure you are comfortable with. Take time to think about your losses and decide on your lowest acceptable offer. Some suggest that asking for 25%-!00% more than what you would be satisfied with, will have you negotiating from a position of strength. You would be lowering your demand without reaching your bottom line, rather than countering up from an inadequate offer. Remember that if the insurer accepts your counteroffer, the case is over. You cannot go back and seek more in damages, even with proof.
Rejecting the Insurance Company’s Accident Settlement Offer
To effectively reject an offer, you can simply say the offer is not acceptable. You can also refuse to sign any proffered paperwork or craft a succinct rejection letter restating your claims.
Note that once you reject the offer it no longer exists. You cannot accept the offer later and you cannot accept if it’s withdrawn. Effectively, a counteroffer serves as your rejection.
Where does this leave you? If you reject the offer without stating the amount you are seeking, you will have to hope the insurance company comes back with a more reasonable offer. If none is forthcoming, you may have to consult with an attorney. That’s not a bad option.
The consultation is free. You will know whether rejecting the settlement offer is the best way to proceed. You only have one opportunity to accept a final offer and it makes sense to pursue the highest settlement possible.
With our experienced Towson car accident lawyer on your side, you will have someone who knows the tactics of the insurance companies, and will not allow you to be pushed into accepting anything less than what you are owed.
If You Reject the Insurance Offer, Will You Have to go to Court?
One reason people accept an insurance offer is to avoid going to court. This makes some sense; trials are long, expensive, and unpredictable. Many people would prefer to simply accept an offer and avoid a stressful court proceeding. No one likes testifying in front of a judge and jury, being badgered by other attorneys, or having their injures and conduct on display. the is especially the case if the outcome is not guaranteed. Why take the risk when an insurance company is offering you a check?
You should remember that these same concerns are being carefully considered by an insurance company when they choose to offer you a settlement. Trials are expensive and the outcome is not guaranteed. it is not uncommon for an insurance company to offer a quick settlement to mitigate the same concerns you have. If an insurance company believes the facts are stacked against them, a settlement makes more economic sense than a long trial and eventual jury award. the question is. “how can you tell why an insurer is offering you a settlement?” Answering this question yourself is probably impossible, but our Baltimore personal injury attorneys have decades of experience to rely upon.
Evaluating the Legal Strength of Your Case
Above, we discussed the importance of understanding the value of your claim when evaluating a settlement offer. Understanding the legal strength of your case is also an important factor when working with an insurance company. While it is true that our Maryland car accident lawyers cannot guarantee an outcome, our knowledgeable attorneys can provide a prediction based on experience, known facts, and similar cases. For example, if a drunk driver struck your car while you were legally stopped in a store parking lot, the odds are significantly in your favor that a jury would find the drunk driver liable. Fortunately, when the facts are this clear, an insurance company will often offer a reasonable settlement amount.
When the facts and circumstances do not point to obvious negligence, evaluating the legal strength of your case becomes more challenging. In some situations, the best way to truly understand the strength of your case is to file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit Does Not Mean You Are Going to Court
You are not obligated to accept an unreasonable offer. Furthermore, rejecting an offer does not mean you are going to court. This is a negotiation. Both sides could offer multiple counter-proposals. However, there are times when negotiations stall and an insurance company refuses to budge. Under these circumstances, you are left with two alternatives: accept the offer or move forward with a lawsuit.
For some people, the thought of going to court will push them to accept a lower offer than they deserve. However, filing a lawsuit does not mean you are necessarily going to court. When you demonstrate a willingness to fight an insurance company in court, you might loosen its pockets. As discussed earlier, trials are expensive and unpredictable. An insurance company understands the risks and costs of fighting a lawsuit. A settlement could be offered at any point during the process.
Part of the trial process is called “discovery.” During this phase of the trial, our Baltimore personal injury lawyers will request evidence from the defendant and their insurance company, including documents, statements, and reports. Additionally, we will question various witnesses. By deposing a defense witness, our office might discover an important piece of evidence that supports your claim. If an insurance company believes the odds are tipping in your favor, they will likely offer a reasonable settlement.
It is important to remember that when you file a lawsuit, you could end up in front of a judge and jury. If we believe your case is strong, our office will advise fighting for the compensation you deserve. However, the decision is yours. For some accident victims, going to trial is the only way to receive the financial compensation to cover their damages. In others, the willingness to pursue a lawsuit is enough to increase an insurance offer.
Should You Have a Lawyer Handle Negotiating a Settlement Offer with the Insurance Company?
You may ultimately come to realize that the insurance company may never be willing to offer a reasonable settlement of your claim. the offer may come nowhere near to covering your injuries and expenses, but the insurer won’t budge. At that point, it would be wise to put your case in the capable hands of a lawyer experienced in car crash settlement negotiations.
There are a number of reasons to contact a car accident lawyer in Charles County or another city:
- You and the insurer are too far apart on a reasonable settlement offer.
- The offer is not sufficient to cover your present and future damages.
- You don’t feel comfortable pursuing the counteroffer process on your own.
- You wonder if the amount of the offer you have in hand is actually fair.
If you have been offered a settlement in any amount, it’s likely that you at least have a winnable case. If you are seeking intangible damages from the at-fault driver, you may not know the depth and breadth of all the damages you could seek due to the negligence of another driver.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help with Your Settlement Claim
A car wreck is a traumatic event. it doesn’t leave you whole even if you walk away unscathed. It’s likely you may only be considering your medical bills for broken bones or your daily lost wages. There is so much more than you may be owed. Wages in the future may need to be calculated and any perks or promotions you may have missed on the job due to your car crash.
Remember that in terms of settlement negotiations, your car accident lawyer also wants to obtain the highest possible figure. By accepting a fee on a contingency basis, he or she is on your side in terms of seeking a larger settlement. If the amount you have been offered is fair, they will tell you as much.
An experienced car accident lawyer has negotiated hundreds of settlements. They often know the insurance company involved and how likely you will be to prevail at trial. A lawsuit is the final step in negotiation. If the threat of an actual lawsuit is not present, insurers may be less willing to increase their accident settlement offer.
If a lawsuit is required, it will be filed in the appropriate jurisdiction to seek a verdict in your favor. Individuals and families who have been injured or hurt in car accidents across the state of Maryland have tripled their settlement offers with the help of a dedicated car accident lawyer.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Resolve Your Case for a Higher Amount
Experienced lawyers and their firms can review the information you have already submitted, including all medical expenses, police reports, doctor’s statements, and lost wages and earnings reports. They can determine whether any evidence may have been overlooked and whether you are entitled to additional damages.
Car accident lawyers possess inside knowledge. They can look up verdicts in similar cases to increase the value of your claim. They may know the insurance company you have been dealing with, and whether that company offers fair settlements in a timely fashion. They will know how often certain insurers agree to settle with or without the threat of a lawsuit.
Further negotiation with an at-fault driver’s insurance company is a specialized skill that only the most experienced car accident lawyers have. If you have significant injuries there is no question that you should hire an experienced car accident lawyer. They will know the true value of your claim and may see potential damages in areas you may not have considered.
Reach Out to Our Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
You should accept an insurance company’s settlement offer if it compensates you appropriately for all of the damages you suffered as a result of an at-fault driver’s negligence. Without contacting a car accident lawyer, you may not know if the amount could be higher. it costs you nothing to request a free consultation and find out for sure.
The Maryland personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras can help you through this complex process. Get in touch with us today by calling (410) 694-7291 for a free case review to evaluate your legal options after an accident.