If you have been injured in an accident that resulted from the negligent action of another party, you can seek compensation for your injury and its related expenses. Your compensation should cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages from the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy. An experienced Compton personal injury lawyer can help make this possible.
As you communicate with an insurance adjuster, you will get settlement offers from them. Generally, you should not accept the initial offers as they won’t reflect the true value of your claim. However, how long should you refuse the offer? Although insurers usually attach deadlines to when you can consider a settlement offer from them, you can continue to say no to an offer until the expiration of the statute of limitations.
How Settlements Work in Personal Injury Cases
Recovering compensation for your personal injury is possible through direct claim payment, a negotiated settlement, or litigation. In personal injury cases, parties commonly settle their cases during negotiations.
Settlement agreements are legally binding agreements signed by both a claimant and the insurer of the at-fault party. In these agreements, claimants accept the compensation and give up their right to pursue additional compensation in the future. Thus, they cannot take their case to court.
The claim settlement process can start after you file a claim against the liability insurance policy of the at-fault party. Typically, initial settlement offers are a fraction of the value of your claim. Therefore, your lawyer must negotiate with the insurance adjuster, so they can increase their offer to a more reasonable level.
Why Insurance Companies Prefer to Settle Outside of Court
Insurance companies usually prefer to settle claims without going to court to avoid the expenses related to litigation. These expenses include the payment of defense lawyers to argue their position before a judge or jury.
In addition, there is uncertainty on the outcome and the amount a jury or judge will decide the insurer must pay for the liability of their policyholder. Depending on the parties involved and the kind of accident that occurred, litigation can ruin the image of the insurance carrier and the at-fault party.
Why Would You Accept a Settlement?
Settlement negotiations can happen at any time following the filing of the claim, it is generally shorter to reach a settlement and agreement and get compensation than waiting out a trial process. While you wait for compensation, your bills and expenses will pile up. Your personal injury lawyer will educate you on how your claim is valued and what fair compensation should include. This way, you can accept a settlement offer that reflects your best interests.