After a catastrophic event, whether a car accident, workplace injury, accident on another’s property or severe harm from a dangerous or defective product, you likely will hear from the at-fault person’s insurance company soon after the accident.
As you take care of yourself during the event’s aftermath, this settlement offer often adds extra confusion.
What should I do after getting an offer?
Avoid accepting the first settlement offer without first consulting with a lawyer. The reality is this initial offer from the insurance company will likely only cover a portion of the full extent of the damages you suffered. The insurance company contacts you right after the injury as a business strategy. The lowball settlement offer will not cover the extent of your financial burden.
Insurance agents will hold you to any agreement to their offer even if you have not deposited the check or signed a release. Unless you feel absolutely sure, do not accept the offer in any way, even verbally.
How do I calculate the total cost of my injuries?
When assessing the total cost of the accident and your injuries, think about the following questions:
- Did my injuries affect my personal and family life?
- Did my injuries cause me to miss work and lose wages?
- Will a family member need to take care of me and stop their employment?
- Am I still missing work and losing future wages?
- Will I need to apply for disability benefits because of my lasting injuries?
The factors above, along with expenses such as your initial emergency medical treatment (i.e., ambulance and emergency room costs) and ongoing health care costs, develop a better picture of how the accident truly impacted your life.