Settling a car accident claim as soon as possible sounds appealing and convenient, but it is not necessarily advisable. Settling too quickly or without careful thought can have long-lasting consequences, making it difficult to cope with the aftermath of a crash.
When contemplating whether to accept or reject a settlement offer from an insurance company, these key considerations should be at the forefront of your mind.
Do you have a full assessment of your injuries and damages?
Before accepting a settlement, it is vital to understand the full extent of the harm and losses you’ve suffered, collectively known as damages. Your immediate and future medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering are among the damages you may be entitled to after a car accident. Before accepting a settlement offer, ensure that it fully covers all your damages. Otherwise, you may end up with less compensation than you deserve.
How strong is your claim?
Consider the available evidence, witness statements, police reports and any expert opinions that support your claim. If there is a likelihood of obtaining a more favorable outcome through litigation, it may be advisable to reject a low settlement offer and pursue legal action instead. A strong claim also gives you more bargaining power during settlement negotiations since the insurer knows you have the option of going to court if there is no consensus.
Be mindful of time constraints
All personal injury claims are subject to a statute of limitations. This law sets the maximum time beyond which you cannot initiate legal proceedings against a negligent party. Under Texas law, car crash victims seeking compensation have two years from the date of an accident to seek the court’s intervention. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to seek compensation through legal means.
It’s better to be safe than sorry
Remember, you cannot reopen your claim to seek further compensation once it’s settled. Seeking qualified legal guidance during the claims process can help you to understand your rights, make informed decisions and protect your interests.