Car Accident Settlements
Ensuring Our Clients Receive the Settlements They Deserve
Car accidents can disrupt your day when they occur and cause stress for some time afterward. After dealing with medical treatments, car repairs, and other unexpected obligations, the last thing people want is a lengthy legal case.
Many people want to simply resolve their car accident claims as fast as possible, which is why settlements can benefit all parties involved. A settlement is an agreement between two or more parties that any car accident victims will receive a certain amount of compensation for their losses. The agreement also involves the victims giving up any further legal rights regarding the accidents after they receive payments. This is common in car accident cases, because settlements decide matters without going to trial—or sometimes without involving the courts at all.
However, there is a difference between settling a case to your benefit and settling so hastily that you fail to protect your legal rights. The settlement process can be more complicated than many people imagine, so get a car accident lawyer involved even if you believe you are going to settle your case.
If you suffered injuries and losses due to a car accident and believe another party was at fault, do not wait to discuss your options with the legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C., in Chicago today.
Offers From Other Drivers
If it was clear to everyone involved that another driver caused the accident, that driver may offer to write you a check for a certain amount right there at the scene of the crash. While this may seem like a generous offer and an acceptance of responsibility—as well as an easy way to get some money—never accept payment directly from another driver in this type of situation for several reasons.
- The driver is out to protect his own interests - Many drivers offer payments up front because they know they do not have the required auto insurance to cover any damage or injuries they caused. To avoid any trouble with law enforcement for being uninsured, they would rather offer to settle right there on the street.
- The payment may be unreliable - It is not likely that a driver will pull out a large amount of cash to pay you—and you can never trust that a check will not bounce. Too many people who accept offers from drivers never receive a cent of the promised money.
- You have no idea what your losses will be - Calculating car accident losses is complicated, and new losses can develop over time. Never accept an amount before you know what kind of medical bills, lost wages, car repair costs, and other losses you will face.
Insurance Company Settlement Offers
So you know not to accept payment directly from an at-fault driver right after an accident, but what about a settlement offer from that driver’s insurance company? Chances are, an insurance adjuster will call you soon after the accident to ask some questions—and may even offer a settlement payment at that time. Never accept this initial offer without first discussing your case with an attorney. The following are some reasons to remain skeptical of an insurance settlement offer:
Insurance companies are corporations and are concerned about profits. They will try to limit liability by making low offers in hopes that an unknowing or desperate car accident victim will accept the offer.
Many people accept insurance settlements because they believe they lack other choices. However, these are not all-or-nothing situations. If you exercise your right to turn down an offer, you do not lose the chance to recover compensation. Your attorney will know how to negotiate for a higher amount.
Knowing how much compensation you are entitled to after an accident can be difficult. Many people accept settlement offers from insurers because they seem like a lot of money. In reality, however, initial settlements are usually well below the amount you deserve. Our lawyers know how to fully and accurately calculate your losses to ensure you understand whether a settlement is sufficient.
Accepting an insurance settlement will almost certainly involve waiving your rights to any additional compensation from that crash. If you accept an offer and later realize your losses are much greater than you thought, you will have given up your right to the additional financial recovery you deserve.
These are only some examples of why you should always consult with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer before accepting an insurance company's settlement offer.
Settlement Negotiations in Car Accident Litigation
If an insurance claim is inadequate to fully compensate you for your losses—which is common in cases involving serious injuries—your attorney can advise when to file a personal injury claim in civil court. Many people believe that filing a lawsuit means that they will go to trial. However, most car accidents cases are resolved by an out-of-court settlement agreement.
Our lawyers know how to use the litigation process to gather evidence and build a strong case in your favor so that we can effectively negotiate the settlement amount that you deserve. This process takes time and resources, so you want a law firm with the experience and ability to fight for the settlement that will cover all of your past and future car accident losses.
Discuss Your Injuries With Our Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we regularly represent car accident victims in all stages of the insurance and litigation process in and around Chicago. We have the resources to stand up for your best interests and will never pressure you into accepting an inadequate settlement just to resolve your claim faster. For more information about how we can help, please contact us online or call (312) 924-7575 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.