Factors to Consider Before Settling a Claim
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Aug 04, 2021 in Personal Injury
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the legal right to pursue the compensation you need for your damages. To do this, injury victims generally need to file a claim with the at-fault party’s liability insurance.
Once your claim is filed, negotiations between you and the insurer begin, and you may either settle your claim or file a lawsuit if your demands are not being met. So, when is it a good idea to settle a claim instead of going to court?
Below, we discuss what factors you should consider before deciding to settle your claim.
Have You Spoken to an Attorney?
Dealing with the insurance company on your own after an accident can be difficult and generally ends with a settlement offer that does not take a lot of important aspects of your claim into account. One legal survey found that injury victims who hire a lawyer are 51 percent more likely to recover the compensation they need.
Before you decide to settle a claim, it is important that you speak to a licensed attorney who may be able to help maximize your compensation. Call our personal injury lawyers in South Bend today to discuss your claim and see how we may be able to help you.
Our attorneys have decades of experience and have a track record of successfully recovering millions on behalf of our clients.
The consultation is free and there are no fees unless we win.
Have You Considered the Cost of Your Future Medical Expenses?
Some injuries may have long-lasting effects that may require extensive physical therapy or medical equipment to help injury victims lead a normal, or as close to normal, life as possible. This means that your medical expenses may continue to rise even after settling and closing your claim. All the while the person who caused your injuries may be unbothered by what those medical treatments and equipment may cost you.
Unfortunately, the liable insurance company rarely takes future medical costs into account when making a settlement offer. Therefore, it is extremely important to assure that the costs of your future medical treatments, equipment, home care, and more are considered when trying to settle an injury claim.
Our attorneys are prepared to help review your past, present, and future medical expenses to include all potential costs when settling a claim.
Have You Considered Pain and Suffering Damages?
If insurance companies rarely consider future medical costs when making a settlement offer, you can bet they will most likely not include the costs of noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Calculating the value of your pain and suffering may depend on the types of physical injuries you suffered and how those injuries may have manifested into emotional injuries.
When deciding whether to settle your claim, it is important to speak to an attorney who may be able to help calculate the value of your pain and suffering damages, as well as other non-economic damages.
Have You Considered Other Options Available to You?
Generally, after you file a claim with the liable insurance company seeking compensation for your damages, the insurance company will make an offer to settle and close the claim. You have several options from this point on, and it is important to understand each one.
The first option you have is to accept the offer and move on. While this option may seem like the easiest route to quickly move on from the accident, it is not one that is commonly recommended by experienced attorneys. This is because insurance companies never offer what your claim is truly worth on the first attempt at settling. Therefore, you should consider your other options.
The second option is to kick off negotiations with the insurance company. Your attorney may send the liable insurance company a demand letter asking for a certain amount in compensation, which the insurance company is likely to reject, but at least make a counteroffer. If that counteroffer does not meet your needs, you can continue to negotiate with the insurance company, or you can file a lawsuit to get them to pay what you believe you are owed.
How Likely Are You to Win in Court?
If you decide that settling your claim is not going to result in the compensation you need, then the next thing to consider is what the likelihood of winning in court will be. In other words, how likely are you to convince the jury the at-fault party acted negligently and caused your injuries.
Remember, proving you were injured is not the only aspect of winning a personal injury case in court. You must prove:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care
- The at-fault breach that duty
- You suffered damages
- Those damages are a direct result of the at-fault party’s actions
Sometimes, insurance companies may offer a reasonable settlement for a case that may not hold up in court, so it is important to speak to an attorney who may be able to help you weigh the pros and cons of settling a claim versus going to court.
Call an Experienced Attorney at Our Firm
There are many factors to consider before you decide to accept a settlement, but one of the most important factors is to first consult with an attorney who has experience dealing with insurance companies and handling personal injury cases.
Our attorneys have decades of experience helping injury victims in South Bend and are prepared to do the same for you. We offer a free consultation and charge you nothing while we work on your claim.
Call us today at (844) 678-1800.