Collecting money after a car accident settlement can be a process nearly as complicated as suing for damages in the first place, particularly if you are faced with collecting your money from an insurance company. Frustrating delays and insurmountable obstacles may stand between you and the money you need to pay your medical bills and other expenses. How can you be sure you will receive your money quickly and easily? The best way is to work with a personal injury attorney with experience in collecting car accident settlements.
The Quick Turnaround
One way insurance companies try to save money on car accident claims is to offer a quick lowball figure to the victim. This may take the form of some statement such as “We can have a check for this amount for you this afternoon.” To the untrained ear, this may sound like a good deal; however, it is often a figure that does not reflect all the money that the victim is owed. In fact, quick offers may consist of less than half of what the victim should be receiving. Without the help of a personal injury attorney who understands these cases, the victim may well think that taking this offer is the quickest and easiest route to settlement and sign away his or her rights accordingly.
What Should My Accident Settlement Cover?
Many victims do not realize that there are several things that should be covered in any decent settlement agreement after a car accident, including:
- Vehicle damage. Your car should be completely repaired using new, reliable parts, or replaced after an accident. Many insurance companies want to use cheap aftermarket parts or declare the vehicle “totaled” and give you only its current market value.
- Physical injuries. Your medical bills should be paid in full, including all future medical bills springing from the accident. This includes therapy, medical devices, and follow-up appointments for as long as necessary for you to fully recover.
- Costs of living. If your injury is one that is not easily treated, and you have permanent physical or emotional damage that will require care for a lifetime, the cost of that care should be included in your settlement.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is often calculated by multiplying the cost of your medical bills by a factor related to the severity of your accident. Since it is impossible to put a price tag on your pain, this is one area of settlement that is open to negotiation and is the most flexible in terms of collecting compensation from the responsible party.
How Long Will It Take To Settle My Case?
Depending on the complexity of the case, there can be many steps to negotiating and agreeing to a final figure. In most cases, the insurance company will demand that all of your medical treatment, except for ongoing treatments that will take place for life, be completed so that a fair assessment can be made of your condition.
Your settlement will be paid directly to you within a few weeks if you settle for a low-ball offer. However, remember that this often does not begin to cover your actual costs related to the accident. If you choose to work with a personal injury attorney, your settlement may take longer, but it will be guided by the experience of your lawyer. Most negotiated settlements are paid directly to the attorney, who then issues you a check from his or her escrow account, minus the lawyer’s fees.
If you are concerned about a car accident settlement, Barber & Associates are here to help. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can work with you to speed up the settlement process but also secure a fair and just payment for your injuries.