Following a serious car accident in which you sustained injuries, you may get a call from an insurance company to make a settlement offer. This is a tactic to discourage you from hiring a Houston car accident attorney. No matter how low the offer is, you might be tempted to accept it because of your financial needs. However, accepting an offer quickly can create serious financial issues for you that could result in lots of challenges, stress, and regrets.
Before you decide to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, you must understand your legal options and be aware of the factors that can impact your claim’s value. Keep reading to know how you can assess an insurance settlement offer and decide what’s fair:
Determining the Worth of Your Case
The value of your claim is not only based on numbers. It is also important to weigh factors that might affect your chance of successfully recovering compensation for your injuries. You must know that an insurance company will do the same. When the company reviews your claim, they take into account your damages’ monetary value, the costs to defend the claim, possible weaknesses in your claim, and your legal representation. You must take these factors into account before you respond to an offer. Also, get advice from an attorney based on your specific circumstances.
Calculating Your Financial Losses
Your financial losses or economic damages must be calculated before you settle your accident claim. They include medical expenses, lost income and wages, property repair or replacement, and others. To calculate these damages, you must compile all your medical bills, check stubs, receipts, and other financial information. If your doctor thinks you will require medical treatment later, you can include the cost of these additional expenses in your economic damages.
Determining the Value of Your Pain and Suffering
Apart from economic losses, you can also file for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and others. Calculating these damages is not simple and you need an experienced attorney to help you estimate them.
Negotiating a Fair Settlement
Typically, insurance companies will offer less than your claim’s value, particularly when you choose to represent yourself. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, ensuring your settlement is not less than what you deserve. By hiring an attorney with extensive experience in litigation, you tell the insurer that you are serious about your claim.