Although Michigan crash victims can seek compensation through a no-fault claim, some may also be eligible to seek additional damages through a third-party lawsuit. Once victims file a claim, they are likely to receive a settlement offer from the insurance company soon after. Although the offer may look like a lot of money, how do you know if the settlement is fair?
At Jay Trucks, we have been handling car crash claims for many years, and we know how to assess a settlement and determine if it is a fair offer. We also know how victims who agree to settle too soon may end up paying for a lot of damages out of their own pocket.
Below, our Flint-area vehicle crash lawyers talk about some of the questions you should ask before accepting a settlement offer. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators, and we are ready to manage your claim and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Learn more about how we may benefit your claim by scheduling your free case review today. There is no cost and no risk for this meeting.
FREE Case Review. Call 989-220-3301 24/7.
What Does Your Attorney Think About Your Settlement Offer?
Crash victims may not initially show their offer to an attorney. Sometimes this is because people feel they cannot afford to hire an attorney. Other injured victims may just accept the first offer and ask questions later. For these victims, a lowball offer may look like a lot of money, especially as medical costs begin to pile up.
Unfortunately, if a victim agrees to an offer before seeking legal help, there is likely little an attorney can do to negotiate further. Once victims agree to a settlement, the offer becomes binding. Victims cannot go back later to negotiate for a better offer.
The most effective way to find out if a settlement offer is fair is to speak with an attorney before agreeing to anything. If the settlement is too low, an attorney knows how to build a strong claim and negotiate for full and fair compensation.
Having an attorney handle your claim benefits you in other ways as well. He or she can:
- Help you avoid accepting any lowball offers from the insurance company
- Fully investigate your claim to determine all possible sources of compensation
- Ensure the full value of your injury claim is accurately calculated
- Handle communication with the insurance company
- Negotiate a settlement offer that provides maximum compensation
- Help you avoid mistakes and protect the full value of your claim
What Damages Are Covered in the Settlement Offer?
If you get a settlement offer from the insurance company, what are some of the questions you should ask? Here are a few questions injury victims should ask before accepting a settlement offer.
Does the Settlement Cover Medical Costs and Economic Damages?
Your economic damages are the tangible costs that are easily quantifiable and include more than just your medical bills.
These economic damages should be included in your settlement offer:
- All related medical costs – including diagnostic testing, surgery, and more
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Prescription medication related to your crash injuries
- Mileage reimbursement costs
- Parking fees
Often the insurance company may push back and say some of your medical costs are neither reasonable or necessary. Your attorney will know how to challenge these arguments to try to ensure you are fully compensated.
Remember to Ask About Your Future Medical Care
It is also important to be sure your future medical costs are covered. For instance, will you need modifications made to your home to help improve your mobility? Will you need surgery in the future for secondary complications that may develop?
Your attorney will work with a medical expert after you have reached the point of your maximum medical improvement (MMI). He or she will review your medical records, your doctor’s diagnosis and also your long-term prognosis.
It is critical that you do not leave out compensation for the medical care you need now or may need in the future.
Does the Offer Compensate Me for Pain and Suffering?
Your settlement offer should also compensate you for your pain and suffering. These damages could be significant, depending on the severity of your injuries. However, pain and suffering is also very subjective. This is why a knowledgeable attorney best qualified to calculate these damages. Recording your recovery progress in a personal injury journal can also help to show how your injuries have impacted your daily life.
What About My Future Earnings?
Some crash victims may not be able to return to work. Others may be able to go back to work but may have to change careers because of their injuries. This is another factor your attorney can accurately calculate. He or she can review the income you would have been expected to earn but for the injuries you sustained.
These damages are highly unlikely to have been included in an early offer from the insurance company. Calculating future earnings is complicated and takes time. This is why we strongly recommend working with a qualified attorney who knows how to determine the amount of future income you will reasonably lose.
Our Law Firm Will Work to Ensure Your Offer is Fair. Call Today
After a car crash that causes you severe injuries, leaving your claim to chance is never a good idea. Start today by contacting our law firm to discuss your situation. Your initial consultation is completely free. If we represent you, there are also no upfront costs or fees to pay.
Our firm handles injury claims on contingency. This means you do not pay us unless we win your case. At Jay Trucks, we are dedicated to helping our clients. We have a proven history of results, recovering millions in compensation, and we are ready to help you.
Experienced. Local. Lawyers. Call 989-220-3301 today.