If you were the victim of an auto accident that wasn't your fault, the responsible driver's insurance company will eventually offer you a settlement for your injuries and property damage. Here are some questions you will likely have about what to do when negotiating a settlement.
What Should You Expect For The First Settlement Offer?
It is always important to review the settlement offer with an injury lawyer to determine if what you are being offered is fair. You do not want to make a mistake and accept an offer that is too low to fully cover your injuries.
The insurance company's first offer will likely only be for what things such as your past and future medical bills, the cost to repair your car, past and future lost wages for missed work while you were recovering, and other costs directly related to the accident. Unfortunately, you'll need to negotiate if you want to recover damages beyond those things. If you are not being offered much beyond these damages, then the only place for your settlement to go is up.
What Other Damages Should You Be Asking For?
You'll want to receive a fair and full settlement for your injury, which means considering things beyond your direct losses that have been suffered. Your lawyer will help seek damages for pain and suffering since going through a traumatic car accident is something that you cannot exactly measure with a direct dollar value. The pain and suffering damages will vary between different accidents, but you can expect to receive more based on the degree of negligence of the other driver and the seriousness of your injuries.
One thing to keep in mind is that you may be made whole financially from the initial settlement, but you deserve more than that. You should be compensated for the time that you were not able to spend with your kids while recovering, having to experience a painful injury, and the stress and anxiety that an injury can put you through.
Should You Take Your Case To Trial If You're Not Getting The Settlement You Want?
While your goal may be to receive compensation through a settlement in mediation, know that you always have the option to go to trial and have a judge or jury decide on how much you are owed. If you are not being given a settlement offer that accounts for all of your damages, then you have a good shot at receiving more by taking your case to trial.
To learn more, contact a car accident attorney.