Motor vehicle liability insurance coverage is how most people affected by collisions cover their costs. Every driver in New Jersey should carry a policy on their vehicle, as that coverage can pay for someone’s lost wages, medical expenses and repair costs in the event of a crash.
Filing a major insurance claim is a process that intimidates many people, but it is common for people to respond with excitement when they receive an offer for a settlement. That means they won’t have to keep submitting paperwork for every new expense they have and that they can quickly pay their existing bills.
Although settlements can be beneficial for those dealing with the aftermath of a recent collision, there are a couple of things you need to know about insurance settlements before accepting one that may have been offered to you.
A settlement will be the only payment you’ll receive from now on
If you accept a settlement from the insurance company, you will typically also have to sign paperwork absolving them of any future liability related to the collision.
If you have more medical bills or can’t return to work the way that you thought you would, you typically will not be able to go back and make a second claim after settling. It is crucial, therefore, that anyone evaluating a crash settlement make sure they know the total, long-term costs of their collision and whether the settlement accurately reflects that reality.
A first offer might be unreasonably low
Too many people accept the first offer made by an insurance company and then struggle to handle the long-term financial consequences of their crash. Unless the settlement offer meets the maximum of someone’s policy limits, it may be possible for the person filing a claim to get more money.
The insurance company will never offer more than the available coverage, but they often offer far less than a crash will cost when first negotiating in the wake of a collision. It can be difficult for the average person to handle the manipulative techniques employed during settlement negotiations or to understand the long-term financial impact of their injury.
Having a lawyer review your case and any settlement offer you receive will help protect you from making a mistake that will forever limit the compensation you can receive after a car crash.