Should You Take a Settlement Offer from an Insurance Company After a Car Accident?
The aftermath of a car accident is a confusing, stressful time. You have to deal with medical expenses and property damages. At the same time, your injuries may be causing extreme pain and discomfort. This can add to your financial burden in the way of lost wages.
Through all this, you will have insurance company claims representatives pressuring you to make statements about the accident and how it took place. The insurance company may send a settlement offer in the weeks and months after you file a claim, but there are several factors you should consider before accepting.
Factors Insurers Consider When Settling Claims
There are several factors insurance companies consider when deciding on a settlement amount. These include:
- The nature and severity of the accident;
- Your own and the other driver’s existing insurance policy amounts;
- The types of damages involved in the accident, such as property damages and medical expenses.
In conducting their investigation, the insurance company will speak with the other drivers involved. They will gather police reports, visit the accident scene, and inspect your vehicle. Determining the amount to offer for settlement can be complex. They often rely on averages when estimating repair costs. Medical records are used to assess the amount of medical costs.
Accident investigations may be superficial at best. There are many claims to handle and resources are limited. It is likely that your initial settlement offer will be well below the total amount you deserve. Once you accept a settlement offer, you will be waiving your rights to any future compensation.
What Your Settlement Offer Should Include
The latest statistics from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) estimates that the average claim amount for property damages is over $3,000. The average injury claim amount paid was roughly $15,000. Unfortunately, the RMIIA estimates that these amounts cover only 50 percent of the costs. Individual consumers, healthcare providers, and charitable organizations make up the rest.
To compensate you for your losses, an insurance settlement amount should include the following:
- Cost to repair or replace your vehicle and rental car coverage;
- Current medical costs.
- Future expenses you are likely to incur. This includes the need for ongoing treatment, medications, and physical rehabilitation;
- Current and future lost wages. This should include losses in benefits you may suffer due to lasting disabilities.
We Are Prepared to Assist You Today
Don’t accept the first offer you see. Speak with us first. Contact experienced Denver car accident attorney Steve Roberts today. We can help negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to.