“The insurance company wants to settle the day after my car accident. What should I do?” This is one of the most common questions asked by people who are the victims of car accidents. However, being rushed into a settlement is rarely in the accident victim’s best interests.
An auto accident almost always causes damage to one’s vehicle, and sometimes a personal injury is sustained by the driver and passengers. In almost every accident, the insurance company will attempt to settle the claim as quickly as possible, as it is in their interests to close the claim before the policyholder can perform valuable research.
Rather than accepting the first compensation offer provided by the insurance company, a policyholder should determine the estimated value of their car and what it would take to repair or replace it. If the driver also sustained an injury in the accident, the individual should obtain an estimated cost of any medical bills or lost wages that resulted from the injury.
Legal experts recommend a car accident victim seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Once the emergency aspect of the accident has diminished, the individual should seek the opinion of a medical expert to determine what ongoing medical costs may result from the injury and how much time the individual should miss from work to heal from the injury. Further, the individual should take their car to a mechanic or car expert and determine its value, the replacement cost, and the cost of needed repairs.
Once the individual has determined the overall financial cost of the accident, they should decide on a desired settlement amount to ask the insurance companies for. They should also have a minimum settlement figure in mind, a number that is the lowest they will go in negotiating with the insurance company.
Before negotiating with the insurance company, an individual involved in a car accident should always speak with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in car accident law and insurance claims law. The insurance company has a financial incentive to operate in its best interests. In contrast, attorneys operate with the victim’s best interests at heart, i.e., providing their client with information and real-time strategy to help the individual get the largest compensation agreement possible. Further, if the insurance company is unwilling to provide fair compensation, the attorney can represent the policyholder in pursuing legal action.
When legal action is taken, Forbes has found that 98% of lawsuits end in settlements between the policyholder and their insurance company. In such settlements, the policyholder’s attorney can help guide the settlement to a fair sum for the policyholder, usually far higher than the amount the insurance company would have agreed on without the lawyer present.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact NRS Injury Law, Ohio’s leading personal injury law firm, before accepting compensation from the insurance company. Call our office at 855.468.4878 or fill out our online contact form.
 Forbes. “Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts (2023).” Forbes, 2022. forbes.com