When you’ve been in an auto accident, you often need money to cover the repairs and your medical expenses right away. It can be tough pulling money from savings to have a working car again and get yourself better. Watching your hard-earned wages go toward expenses that aren’t your fault is tough, and it pushes many people to settle with insurance companies quickly.
While money right now seems better than waiting weeks or months for money later, waiting and negotiating for a better settlement is exactly what you need to do.
Low First Offers
You should not settle with an insurer regarding your auto accident right away from many reasons, one of which is that the insurer will offer you the smallest settlement it thinks it can get away with. Insurance companies look out for themselves. They don’t want to pay every person who makes a claim, and they certainly don’t want to pay the maximum amount of the policy to every person who is entitled to a payout.
The initial offer from an insurance company is almost always on the low end of the spectrum, which means it may not be enough money to cover all of the present and future costs associated with your injury. The first offer is your starting point for negotiations.
Additional Evidence of Fault
It can take time for police or other investigators to determine fault for an accident. It may take days or a few weeks for your personal injury attorney to gather paperwork and other evidence of the other driver’s fault.
Instead of merely saying the driver was at fault, you have documentation that they caused you harm. Once you have this evidence, you have leverage against the insurance company for a higher settlement.
Learning the Extent of Your Injuries
It often isn’t clear the extent of a person’s injuries the day of the car accident or even a week later. It can take a few weeks for physicians to see how you’ll likely recover and the medical attention you’ll need in the future. You may learn you’ll need additional surgeries, physical therapy, or medication for a long period of time. All of these cost money and should be covered by your insurance settlement. However, if you settle before you have this information, you will likely accept too little and will have to cover these costs on your own down the road.
In addition to learning more about your medical injuries, it can take time to estimate your other damages such as lost wages, pain and suffering, and legal costs. It may take you a few weeks to learn you’ll actually be off work 6 months, not 3 months. The physical and mental suffering the accident caused you may become more apparent over time.
Rushing into a settlement means you accept an offer before truly understanding your damages.
Contact a Chicago Auto Accident Lawyer to Negotiate
Fighting for a higher settlement can be intimidating and stressful. By working with an experienced attorney who is experienced in these matters and has worked with insurance companies before makes it easier to stand up for yourself and what you really deserve. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to learn more.