If you suffered injuries in a truck accident caused by a negligent trucker, you will need to file a claim for compensation with the insurance company for the trucking company and driver. One of the most important decisions you will make in your case that could have long-term consequences in your life is whether to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer. Here are five questions to ask when making this important decision.
1. Have You Consulted With an Attorney?
You should never agree to settle your claim or sign any legal documents without first consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer. Here are some of the ways that having a lawyer represent you can help you:
- They can collect the evidence you need to win your case and determine how strong of a claim you have against the truck driver and trucking company.
- They can accurately calculate how much your claim is worth.
- They can determine whether the disputes that the insurance company is raising are valid or an excuse to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve. They will also have strategies to defeat the insurance adjuster’s arguments.
2. Do You Know Your Medical Prognosis?
You should not settle your claim until you reach your maximum medical improvement. This is the stage in your medical treatment where you have fully recovered from your injuries or recovered as much as you will, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis. You cannot know the future damages you should receive for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering until you reach this stage in your medical recovery.
3. Is the Settlement Fair?
Before you agree to settle your case, you need to be sure that you are being fairly compensated for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity if you are permanently disabled, and pain and suffering. You may not receive all that you are asking for in your settlement, but you should feel like the insurance company is treating you fairly and paying you most of what you would receive if you won your case at a jury trial.
4. Do You Know Your Options?
You have to understand all your options in order to make a good decision on the insurance company’s offer. For example, if this is the insurance adjuster’s first offer, it is probably for much less money than you deserve. Your attorney will probably get them to pay you more compensation through negotiations.
You also have the option of filing a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to be reasonable. You could very likely settle your claim during the litigation process, though it could take more time for this to occur.
5. Do You Understand the Settlement?
Once you settle your case, your settlement will be a final resolution of your claim. You could not come back later and ask for more money if you discovered your injuries were more serious than you thought. It is important to understand all the terms of your settlement before saying yes to it.
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident that was not your fault, our dedicated truck accident lawyers are here to help you hold the trucker and trucking company accountable. Call our Norfolk office or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.