After a car accident, victims can be dealing with a host of damages. Their cars may be totaled; they may have severe injuries; they may be struggling with missing work and paying for their hospital bills. Some of these losses are immediately evident, while others take time to develop.
With all this in mind, accident victims and their families should know that a settlement offer from an insurance company likely will not reflect all these damages.
How insurance settlements work
When you report an accident to your insurance company, they will investigate your claim and determine what – if any – amount of money to offer in a settlement. They consider several factors, including:
- Which factors contributed to the crash
- The degree to which you may have contributed to the accident
- The insurance coverage both parties have
- What they feel are reasonable medical expenses
- The severity of your injuries
Some of these considerations are subjective. And when the parties looking into a crash are interested in minimizing their financial payouts, their decisions do not always reflect what victims and their loved ones feel are fair.
What are they missing?
A settlement from your insurance can be lower than what you deserve. Some of the damages that an insurance company may not fully reflect can include:
- Emotional distress
- Lost earnings if you are self-employed
- Lost future earnings
- “Soft” medical expenses, like chiropractors, physical therapy and alternative medications
There can also be questions over an insurance company’s decisions on what is “reasonable” and extenuating circumstances they failed to consider.
Think before you accept
It may be tempting to accept a settlement from the insurance company after an accident. It allows you to get money sooner, which can come as a significant relief to victims.
However, if a crash was serious and your damages are extensive, that offer may not cover what you truly deserve. In some cases, you could be in a position to collect far more than what the insurance company says. As such, it is critical to think carefully before accepting a settlement and consider all your options, including the option to pursue a lawsuit to maximize your financial compensation. To learn more, contact the Quinn Law Firm at for a free consultation regarding your accident.