People who are unfamiliar with the average cost of an accident often see personal injury settlements as inflated. They consider the idea of going to court to be a long, drawn-out process, and often settle quickly to avoid expense and problems. This is just what the insurance companies want.
In fact, many initial settlements offered by insurance companies do not even cover the basic costs of an injury, leaving the victim to fund the rest of the expenses, often at a time when income is low or non-existent. Insurance companies know that most cases are settled outside of courtrooms, but they may often hint to victims that they are headed for years of litigation in order to frighten them into a settlement. Settling under these conditions often means giving up your rights and taking a much smaller amount for your injuries than that to which you are entitled.
How can you protect yourself as the victim of a personal injury accident and calculate the amount needed to cover your injuries fully?
- Know your rights. One of the most important steps you can take in protecting yourself after an injury is to learn about your rights. Many people are frightened into taking a low settlement offer from an insurance company because they are told that they “won’t get anything” or that the responsible party may file a counterclaim. In fact, you have the legal right to protect your interests, and no one should ever threaten you out of doing so. An attorney who is experienced in representing personal injury victims can help you understand your rights and how to ensure that you are protected after an accident.
- Consider all of the costs. Many people miscalculate the amount needed to cover their expenses after an accident, and most of these errors represent underestimation rather than overestimation. People simply do not account for all of the possible expenses, including loss of wages from days missed at work, transportation to and from medical appointments, special equipment that may be necessary for recovery at home, and physical therapy. The costs on these items can mount surprisingly quickly, and if they are not accounted for, the overall settlement figure may be too low.
- Consult an attorney. For a personal injury lawsuit, it is best to speak with an attorney who has experience dealing with these types of cases. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you make sense of your case and understand the true cost of your injuries. The attorney will then represent you and fight for the best settlement possible, whether in or out of court.
At Barber & Associated, we have spent many years fighting for the rights of personal injury victims. We have the experience to deal with insurance companies and others who might try to deprive you of the compensation you deserve. Call us today to learn how we can help you get the settlement you need to fully and completely pay for your injuries.