Car crashes frequently end with innocent drivers and passengers being injured. To help individuals and families financially recover from their physical or mental trauma, as well as pay for personal items lost as a direct result of the collision, they may work with auto insurance companies. However, auto insurance providers base their settlement offers on several factors, which can make the end result seem low from a victim’s point of view.
How Do Insurers Determine Settlement Values?
Insurance carriers naturally want to pay out the least amount of money for car accident claims. Therefore, they may haggle over out-of-pocket expenses parties pay to receive treatment. Forcing victims to prove the necessity of everything from pharmaceuticals to physical therapy visits helps insurance providers keep their settlements as lean as possible. In some circumstances, insurers will offer nothing if they believe it makes sense from their point of view.
Understandably, this back and forth process can make victims feel angry. It can also become psychologically overwhelming for car accident victims to accept a low number to make the experience go away. However, once a settlement has been accepted by a victim, it cannot be changed.
When Does It Make Sense to Accept a Low Settlement?
If the victim’s injuries are quite minor, a small settlement may make sense. On the other hand, even if the victim’s injuries cost thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, the insurance company will not settle for more than the maximum liability insurance based on the at-fault driver’s policy. For example, if a driver causes a wreck that hurts someone, the injured person may incur more than $50,000 in fees to health care entities. Yet, the insurance company will only offer $50,000 because of the policy coverage. At this point, the victim might accept the lower settlement. On the other hand, if the victim wanted to pursue punitive damages, a personal injury lawsuit might be a reasonable solution.
Punitive damages are monetary amounts meant to punish particularly egregious, negligent actions on the part of an at-fault driver. Courts use punitive damages to deter future offenders from engaging in similar behavior, while simultaneously providing plaintiffs with financial remuneration for their suffering.
When Should I Talk with an Attorney About a Settlement Offer?
Before accepting a settlement offer, victims may want to speak with a car accident lawyer for insight. Ideally, victims who have undergone significant injuries should contact a lawyer immediately after the event. That way, if the victims or their families decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit instead of taking a settlement, they have time to file all the paperwork within the statute of limitations after a serious, life-altering collision.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Injured Victims Receive the Settlement They Deserve
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, contact a Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC today. We will review your case and fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, call us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown.