The American Bar Association affirms that insurance companies (and others) usually settle accident claims before they go to court. If you get injured in an accident, you could have the right to get compensated for your injuries and losses.
There will be an insurance policy in place to cover your losses in most cases. Accident claims may be settled out of court if both parties—the claimant and the insurer—can come to agreeable terms.
It’s usually in the insurance company’s best interests to settle accident claims before going to court because it saves them the costs involved in defending lawsuits.
The Insurance Company Could Offer a Fair Settlement That Meets Your Needs
The insurance provider might reach out with a settlement to assuage your losses and injuries in return for an agreement not to file a court case against them or their client. Settling claims out of court also benefits the plaintiff. You might be able to recover your damages sooner than you would through the court system.
While they are time-saving, out-of-court settlements involve a fair bit of back-and-forth and leave room for undervaluation by the insurance provider. A personal injury lawyer can do all the negotiating on your behalf and pursue the amount of fair compensation you need.
Can I Reject a Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company?
If you got involved in an accident and the defendant offers a settlement, it is well within your rights to reject it. Most accident claims are settled before they go to court, as it saves both parties a lot of time and legal fees.
However, you are allowed to reject the offer if you defer on major issues and can’t find common ground. You can counter the original offer with a better one, and if all fails, file a court case. Some of the things that might warrant you to reject an offer include:
- Failure to agree who was at fault
- The insurance company offering a settlement amount that doesn’t fully cover your damages
Insurance companies aim to settle claims as inexpensively as they can. Some adjusters might offer low amounts after your accident because they know that you need quick cash to cover treatment. However, in most cases, you would be eligible for more compensation. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will protect you from exploitation and help you navigate any ensuing negotiations.
How Long Will My Accident Claim Take?
Unfortunately, there is no precise answer to how long a personal injury case will take. All accident claims are different. That said, an injury lawyer will let you know what to expect and how long your case could take.
It’s important to know the different stages involved in accident claims to explain why they take as long as they do:
Medical Care Can Delay Your Understanding of Your Losses
After the accident, the first course of action is to seek medical treatment. As your health stabilizes, your doctor will be in a position to advise on which expenses you might face in the future to help with recovery.
Your attorney will use those projections (along with the already existing medical bills) to calculate your damages.
Negotiation Can Take a While Before You Settle on a Fair Offer
After seeking medical treatment, your attorney can proceed with the accident claim by negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. This process could take months or even more, depending on how soon both parties agree. If you find an agreeable settlement, the case could end here.
You Could Pursue Litigation and Still Negotiate for a Settlement
You and your lawyer can file an accident claim in court if the insurance company doesn’t agree to your terms or if the settlement amount offered doesn’t cover your damages.
Damages You Can Expect To Recover in an Accident Claim
Damages are awarded in accident claims to compensate the plaintiff for their losses and injuries. They can be broadly classified into general damages and special damages.
General damages, referred to as non-economic damages, cannot be quantified and are somewhat subjective. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost companionship
- Reduced quality of life
On the other hand, special damages, or economic damages cover financial losses that you can put a dollar figure on. Some examples of economic damages include:
- Property damage
- Treatment costs
- Lost wages
- Lost income opportunities
- Lost benefits and pension
Let George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Negotiate on Your Behalf
Our injury lawyers have handled accident claims. We have helped over 50,000 clients get compensated for their injuries, and we’re ready to fight for you too. We’ll negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get the highest possible amount as promptly as possible.
However, if out-of-court negotiation fails, we’re ready to sue responsible parties and build the case for you in court. Call us today for a free consultation, and we’ll help you assess your legal options. We aim to add your case to our successful case results.