Many accident cases resolve with a settlement agreement between the victim and the insurance company. But that doesn’t always happen. If the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate and repeatedly brings low-ball offers to the table, you might find yourself in a situation where you don’t settle with the insurance company.
So what happens if you can’t reach a settlement? One of two things happens when negotiations aren’t moving the case to a favorable settlement.
- You don’t get any money or reimbursement for your bills
- You proceed with a lawsuit and the court case
Without an attorney, you’ll probably be forced to accept the first of the two options, which is not a good situation to be in. You’ll have to find a way to pay your bills out of your pocket. Having an attorney from the beginning of your case can help in negotiating a settlement and reaching agreeable terms.
Benefits of a Settlement
Agreeing to a favorable settlement is far more beneficial for most injury victims. The benefits of a settlement include:
- Closing out the case faster
- Getting money sooner so you don’t have to dip into savings to cover bills
- Saving money on legal fees
- Requiring less time investment
A formal court case can make your personal life complicated. These cases are often public and if the courts order the insurance company to pay you a settlement, that amount can be public record and hit the newspapers.
So while you can take a case to court if you don’t settle with an insurance company, settlements offer a better solution to resolving injury claims. Don’t get greedy in thinking you can get more from the insurance company if you file a lawsuit. Trust your attorney’s advice about a fair settlement amount.
Injuries You Should Consider Going to Court to Resolve
Cases with low settlement offers from the insurance company often involve severe injuries. The cost of healing from these injuries with proper medical care will cost a great deal, and the insurance company doesn’t want to face those expenses.
But these injuries also often mean long-term medical care and reduced capacity to work, which will have lifelong impacts on the financial situation of the victim. Here’s a look at some of the more common injuries that can lead to the courtroom instead of settlements.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Medical malpractice
- Class action lawsuits
In these scenarios, your attorney might recommend proceeding to a lawsuit because, without it, you’ll face undue financial hardship from your injuries.
How to Know Whether to Accept a Settlement Offer
First and foremost, you should listen to your attorney’s advice as to what a fair settlement offer is based on your injuries and the evidence in your case. But if you’re negotiating the settlement without legal representation, keep these factors in mind when negotiating.
- Before negotiating, your medical providers should clear you so you know the full cost of your medical care
- A settlement should include payment for all medical bills, missed work and property damage at a minimum
- You should not accept the first settlement offer because this will be a very low number designed to make the case go away
It is appropriate to hire an attorney to help with settlement negotiations, even if you don’t plan to go to court. Attorneys are skilled negotiators who know how to demonstrate the value of a claim to protect your rights and get you the money you deserve.
Stewart & Stewart has a team of skilled attorneys who can help you with your accident claim no matter where you are in the process. Allow our team to guide you in settling a case or taking it to court when the circumstances warrant it. Contact us for a free consultation.