An attorney can help you assess a car accident settlement offer

Firm News | March 20, 2017

You were recently in a serious car accident, and either you or someone you loved suffered serious injuries as a result. The accident was clearly the fault of the other driver, so now the insurance company that covered the other vehicle has offered you a settlement.

At first, it may seem wonderful to receive an offer for a lump sum payment to offset the financial and emotional losses you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. However, many times, that first offer presented by an insurance company is insignificant compared to what they could end up paying in a lawsuit. Once you sign the settlement, you lose the right to ask for more, even if your medical expenses rise.

An attorney can help you determine if the amount offered is fair. Many times, initial offers are so low that they barely cover the current medical expenses at the time of the offer, to say nothing of future expenses such as surgeries or physical therapy. You also need to take into consideration lost wages and any property damage you may have suffered, in addition to injuries.

Thankfully, if you work with an experienced personal injury attorney who understands Illinois law and has negotiated similar settlements in the past, you have an increased chance of a fair settlement that will cover all of your expenses and losses.

Insurance companies are looking out for themselves

When insurance companies work quickly to settle a claim, it is often because they know a lawsuit would result in a far larger payout. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the kind of coverage the other driver had, your settlement could be substantially more than the first offer from the insurance company. These companies will make a low first offer, hoping that the victims of an accident will jump at money to cover their recent losses.

With an attorney helping to review the settlement, you’ll be able to determine if the settlement in is your best interests or just in the best financial interests of the insurance company.

An attorney can help negotiate a better settlement on your behalf. Your attorney will understand state law, as well as precedent in similar accidents, to help convince the insurance company to improve their offer. In some cases, your attorney may file a civil suit to help you recover those losses if a better offer isn’t forthcoming.

Working with an attorney protects you after an accident

You’ve already been injured and suffered losses. You don’t need to add insult to injury by being tricked into accepting a low-ball settlement offer. When you’ve been in a serious accident caused by someone else, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. He or she will help protect you and ensure a more positive outcome to this terrible situation.