Why You Shouldn’t Rush to Settle Your Car Accident Case
When you’re in a California road accident that’s definitely the other person’s fault, you just want to wrap things up as quickly as possible. So when the other driver’s auto insurance company offers you a fast settlement check, it can be very tempting.
Wait! If you accept that settlement, it could be a huge mistake. Rush into this too rapidly, and you may regret your decision later. Here’s why.
They Want You to Make an Expensive Mistake
Think about this situation from the point of view of the other person’s insurance company. They know their client is at fault. You probably have witnesses, a police report, and even video footage to support your side.
And they know they owe you money. Now they’re worried that they could owe you a LOT of money if you get a lawyer and demand a high-value auto accident settlement.
So at this point, all the insurance company has on their side is time and pressure. That’s why they’re urging you to make a fast decision without thinking about it too much – and they may try to aggressively persuade you to sign a release form right away.
Do not sign a release form – we repeat, DO NOT sign a release form! – until you talk to your lawyer at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. This includes any forms you receive from the other driver, their insurance company, or your own insurance company.
Release forms typically eliminate your right to sue or bring any additional claim regarding the accident. That’s why it’s called a “release.” It releases them from any further responsibility to pay you, which usually works in their favor and not yours.
Settlements Can Be Good, as Long as They’re Full and Fair
Most car accident injury cases can be resolved without going to court. An out-of-court settlement can be a very good thing for you, as long as you make careful decisions and work with your lawyer to get the full amount you deserve.
Consider the full range of damages you’ve suffered from the accident. In California, you are eligible to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Car repairs and property damage
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Pain and suffering, including emotional stress
- Inability to do household chores
- Loss of capacity to enjoy things that you once enjoyed
The costs associated with any one of the things above could end up being much higher than you expect. So if you already accepted a small settlement and signed a release, you’re out of luck when it comes to getting compensation for these large, unexpected costs.
For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that can arise 30 days or more after a motor vehicle accident and calls for psychological counseling. Neck and back pain also take time to appear and may need a specialist’s care, including physical therapy.
There’s also the risk that you haven’t fully healed yet. A traumatic brain injury, for example, can create a long medical journey. And 17% of all car accident victims are readmitted to the hospital after initially being discharged. You don’t want to be paying those extra bills yourself!
7 Signs You’re Being Rushed Into a Settlement
Talk to Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers if the other side is trying to rush you into a settlement by doing things like:
- Acting like your friend and making big promises that sound too good to be true
- Outright bullying you into accepting a small check
- Pushing you to see a specific doctor, not one you chose
- Pushing you to see their preferred auto mechanic, who you don’t trust
- Downplaying your damages like emotional harm and psychological treatment
- Repeatedly asking you to sign paperwork before speaking to your lawyer
- Pressuring you for your social security number or a recorded statement, neither of which you have to give them
Remember, rushing into a settlement is almost always good for them and bad for you! So take a moment, take a deep breath, and contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers to make a smart decision about accepting a settlement.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of traffic injury claims, including car accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation