With coronavirus leading to job loss, businesses closed and a period of uncertainty, car accident victims may be tempted to accept a low settlement to obtain some compensation during this difficult time. While it is common for insurance companies to contact accident victims shortly after a crash, it is important that you carefully consider your losses and whether a proposed settlement is just and fair.
A licensed West Palm Beach car accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to help assess any settlement offer you receive. Learn about your potential legal options in a free consultation.
Reasons to Not Accept a Quick Settlement
There are several reasons why you should avoid accepting a quick settlement. First, the initial offer is often the lowest. The insurance company is simply trying to get you to agree to a lower amount before you understand the true nature of your injuries and/or have a chance to consult with a lawyer. The adjuster may even give you a very limited deadline to make a decision as to whether to accept the settlement as additional pressure.
Second, you will likely require continued medical treatment after being injured in a car crash. You likely will not know the full extent of your injuries early on in the process. Personal injury law is premised on the idea that you have a right to be compensated for the damages you suffered because of another person’s negligence.
One important way that coronavirus may impact your claim is that you have a duty to mitigate your damages. This means that you should follow your doctor’s orders so that your injuries do not become worse. You may be worried about receiving medical treatment during the outbreak, but we are prepared to discuss these concerns with you.
Third, settlements are final. If your injuries are worse than you realized but you already accepted a settlement, you will not be able to seek additional compensation because you would have signed a release of liability as a condition of receiving settlement funds. This means that you should have a good understanding of your injuries and financial losses before you accept any settlement, since you likely will not be able to obtain any additional compensation afterward.
How Coronavirus May Affect Car Accident Cases
There are several ways that coronavirus may affect your car accident claim. You may have difficulty receiving medical care during this time because limited resources are being devoted to treating patients with the virus. This can cause your claim to be delayed since your lawyer may not be able to accurately assess your damages.
Additionally, courthouse schedules may be delayed. Many courthouses are closed around the country because of the outbreak. If courthouses are closed, cases will be delayed, so it may take longer to receive your funds.
Other courthouse procedures are being modified so that work can occur remotely. It may be difficult for juries to connect with plaintiffs who they only see on a screen instead of in-person. Insurance companies may try to take advantage of these factors by offering lower settlements because they know you do not want to have to wait longer for your compensation.
Importance of Accurately Assessing Your Damages
It is important that you accurately assess your damages so that you can properly evaluate whether a settlement offer is too low. Your damages may include:
- Damage to your vehicle
- The total cost of your medical bills, including future medical expenses
- Scarring, disfigurement or disability
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Other expenses related to your accident
Be sure that you know the full extent of your damages before you consider accepting a settlement offer.
Let Us Handle Your Claim Remotely
Gordon & Partners knows that your health is your number one priority. We are prepared to handle your claim remotely. The intake process can be completed by phone or email.
Our firm offers free initial consultations during which we are prepared to discuss your rights and legal options. We charge no fees unless and until we help you obtain compensation.
Contact us today at 1 (855) 722-2552 to get started.