What You Need to Know Before Reaching an Auto Accident Settlement
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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021
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It is estimated that close to ninety-five percent of car accident settlements are reached out of court. If you have a dispute about your car accident settlement offer, you will likely resolve that dispute by signing an accident settlement agreement after negotiating with your insurance company.
TIP:If you are negotiating an accident settlement on your own, it is important that you do not accept a premature or inadequate car accident settlement just to get some money quickly. Make sure you take your time and properly evaluate what your claim is worth. You need to be ready to fight for the accident settlement that you deserve based on the damage you suffered, and know when you should contact a car accident attorney for assistance.
Auto Accident Settlements and Future Costs
Before you agree to an auto accident settlement, make sure you have accounted for any future costs that you could have to pay due to lingering effects of an injury. Your physician should be consulted for information on your prognosis for recovery and any potential problems that could occur after the auto accident settlement is signed. You can include money for future costs in your auto accident settlement if you have evidence to prove it is likely that you’ll have to continue paying to treat your injury.
Before you obtain the check for your car accident settlement, the insurance company will want to make sure that you cannot come back to their insured later and sue for more money. They will, therefore, ask you to sign a form called a Release and Waiver preventing any future claims arising from the same accident. You want to be certain that the conditions on the car accident settlement waiver are reasonable and that the money will be paid to you promptly. Once you sign the car accident settlement waiver, you give up the right to bring any additional claims for that accident!
Caution:As the releasing party, by settling your car accident claim and signing the Release and Waiver, you are required to give up all known and unknown claims against the driver that caused the accident. You should never give up your right to file a claim without looking into what a car accident attorney can do for you.
FOR EXAMPLE: If you have back pain as the result of a car accident, and it suddenly makes a return appearance a year after you sign a car accident settlement agreement, you cannot go back and sue the driver that caused accident for additional compensation. Because of these consequences, seeking legal counsel to assist you before you sign a settlement agreement is very important. Most attorneys offer you free consultations which will help guide you in this process, and can make sure you recover at least the amount you would have if you had not taken legal action. After you receive a settlement offer, it is a good idea to advise the claims adjuster that you would like a couple of days to think about the offer and consult with an attorney.
Legal Action After Your Car Accident Settlement
Generally speaking, once a car accident settlement is signed, the matter is legally settled, and you cannot file a lawsuit after that point. Legal action after an car accident settlement waiver is very rare, and only possible if there were errors during the claim process or confusion about the terms of a poorly written settlement agreement. Because you will waive all future claims, it is important to have a car accident attorney review the settlement document to ensure you are getting a fair deal.
Accident Injury Settlements and Pedestrians
If you are injured in an accident involving a pedestrian, whether you are the driver, a bicyclist or a pedestrian, contact a car accident attorney immediately. Usually pedestrians and bicyclist are afforded a higher degree of right of way and therefore a greater degree of negligence is assumed by the driver of a car. Accident injury settlements typically favor the pedestrian or bicyclist, and the damages can get quite high. If you are involved in a car accident with a pedestrian, it is a good idea to contact a car accident attorney immediately.
If you have any questions about settling your car accident claim, click here to find a local car insurance attorney to assist you.
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