No one expects to get into an auto accident. Even if we practice safe driving habits, mistakes happen and accidents throw our lives into disarray. Injuries can require hospital stays, doctor appointments, physical therapy, and other unanticipated expenses, creating additional financial stress for auto accident victims. While you have the right to pursue compensation following a car accident in Riverside County, it’s important to understand how to strategically obtain the funds you need to cover the medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs incurred by your injury. Here are three tips for negotiating a fair settlement offer in California.
1. Your Initial Injuries May Become More Complex
An auto accident settlement offer relies heavily on the nature and severity of the victim’s injuries. It’s crucial that you understand the full extent of your injuries before you make a request or accept a settlement offer. Think about how your injuries may impact your current and future employment opportunities and your quality of life. Will you require months or even years to make a full recovery? Has your mobility become limited because of your injury? Discuss your prognosis with your doctor to determine the approximate amount of compensation you’ll need to cover these expenses.
2. You Have the Right to Reject a Settlement Offer
Many auto accident victims simply want to receive compensation and move on with their lives. However, it’s important to realize that insurance companies will often make a lowball settlement offer initially, hoping to capitalize on your eagerness to accept it. Take some time to assess this initial offer, and don’t be intimidated by an insurance company that tries to make you believe that rejecting their offer means you won’t be able to recover any compensation. This is simply not true. Instead, work with your attorney to prepare a counteroffer. When an insurance company recognizes that you are severe enough to take this case to trial if need be, it will work hard to make a better offer.
3. Accepting the Offer is Legally Binding
As soon as you accept the offer, you are giving up your right to sue the insurance company or demand additional payments—even if your injury becomes worse later on. Make sure that the settlement offer will cover your current and future expenses before you agree to accept it. It’s a good idea to enlist an experienced auto accident lawyer’s guidance to ensure that you recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a Temecula or Murrieta car accident and need help collecting compensation, call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation today at (951) 489-3320 to get started.