One of the first phone calls you may receive after a car crash is from the other driver’s insurance company. They want to settle your case—fast. You may even receive that call the day of the accident.
Should you accept the offer? It’s great that they’re on top of it, but it’s probably not in your best interest.
If your case is minor, and there were no injuries or serious damage to your car, it might be OK—consider carefully before you do. But if you and/or your loved ones were seriously injured, your car or other property was badly damaged, don’t sign away your rights to compensation you deserve.
Once you accept their settlement offer, your case is closed—and you can’t go back later to ask for more once you sign for the check. It may be time to contact a personal injury attorney to help you with your case.
Types Of Damages
Whether you’re a driver, a passenger or a pedestrian injured in an accident, you can pursue compensation for damages. What you can recover and the amount will depend on the types of damages involved, during and after the incident. These damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Car repairs
- Disability or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
If you settle with the insurance company that quickly, you may walk away from damages that you’re entitled to.
What’s The Hurry?
Insurance companies want to get you and your case settled and off their books as soon as they can, for as little money as they can. They’re not concerned with your injuries and helping you get back on your feet.
But injuries aren’t always obvious on the day of the accident. That’s why it’s important to seek medical attention immediately after the accident, and again as needed. If you delay treatment, it could damage your chances of recovering anything.
West Virginia allows you a two-year time frame to file a claim, and if necessary, a lawsuit, to get the compensation you need for your injuries and damage to your property. If your injuries are delayed, you’ll have two years from the date of discovery to file your complaint.
This is where a personal injury attorney can help you.
What A Car Accident Settlement Should Cover
In addition to covering your car repair/replacement expenses, your medical expenses, lost wages and other expenses. However, if you’re severely injured, and possibly disabled, a quick settlement probably won’t take that into account. An insurance adjuster isn’t going to take these things into consideration, so be very cautious when talking with them, and don’t agree to anything you feel is inadequate, or don’t understand.
Negotiating A Settlement
Were You Assigned Fault?
West Virginia’s car accident laws allow fault to be assigned. That is, you could be assigned a percentage of fault for causing the accident. Should you be partially responsible, it could impact your settlement amount. But you should know if you are at fault, and by how much. For instance, if the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident, you’ll recover an awarded amount at 100%. But if you’re 20% at fault because a witness saw you look at your phone while the vehicle was in motion, your settlement amount will be reduced by 20%.
Ready To Settle? Call Us First!
Don’t accept a quick settlement without talking to us first. You could lose out with no way to recover. Call The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 and schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in a car accident injury settlement. We offer contingency fee arrangements, and there’s no fee if we don’t win your case.