What You Need to Know Before You Accept an Insurance Settlement
A car accident can leave you with serious injuries that can take weeks or months to heal. A crash can even leave you fighting for your life. At the same time, you may be accumulating high medical bills, and you are likely in need of money to pay for the costs associated with your damages. If you were hurt in an accident that was not your fault, the negligent driver should pay for all the costs you incurred as a result. The following are some tips you can use to deal with your insurance claim after an accident.
Be Careful When You Speak to Insurance Reps
One of the first steps in an accident claim process is speaking with the insurance company representative. The rep will want to know exactly how the accident happened and the details of your injuries. Remember that this conversation is generally recorded, and your words could be used against you later in the case. Prepare ahead of the conversation and do not offer any details except to briefly answer the questions they ask. Ideally, seek legal guidance before you speak to anyone regarding the accident.
Assess Your Damages
North Carolina utilizes the doctrine of pure contributory negligence. In order to obtain compensation in a personal injury claim in North Carolina, you must not hold any responsibility for the accident. The negligent party must be deemed liable for all damages that you incurred due to the accident. Keep in mind that you may not know your total damages for some time if you require ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation. Damages include all of your medical bills, lost wages, money for pain and suffering, and more. You must be able to prove that the other driver was negligent and caused your injuries.
Do Not Rush Into a Settlement
You may require funds to pay for accumulating bills from the injuries caused by the accident. Insurance companies know this and may use your vulnerability to offer you a lower settlement than you deserve. In some cases, the insurance company may try to rush a settlement. If that happens, you can be skeptical that the amount of money they are offering is too low. Be aware that if you accept a settlement check, you will likely be waiving your right to take any further actions and will not be able to seek further damages later.
The First Offer May be Too Low
It is common for the first offer the insurance company makes to be lower than expected. This may be because, in many cases, the insurance company intends to negotiate a settlement offer. Therefore, do not automatically accept the first offer you get. Keep in mind that the insurance company is a business and wants to pay out the least amount of money possible on claims. There are some monetary limitations and time restrictions to accident claims, so it is a good idea to speak to a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Most insurance claims result in settlements before they get to court. A skilled personal injury attorney will help you get the most from your claim. Contact our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a consultation.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
Contributory Negligence | Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyers Arnold & Smith (arnoldsmithlaw.com)
Settlement | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)
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