After a car crash, you may not work for weeks, maybe longer if your injuries are severe. You will also have a lot of expenses to cover all at once, ranging from the cost to tow your vehicle to a repair shop to the medical bills that keep coming in the mail from the hospital.
When you believe the other driver was to blame for the crash, you probably expect to make a quick claim against their insurance policy. In theory, liability coverage will pay for medical bills, lost wages and vehicle repair expenses, along with other property damage losses.
If the insurance company offers you a settlement, you may feel relieved that you will finally have the money you need to handle your obligations. However, there are two crucial details that you should verify before you respond to a settlement offer from the insurance company representing the other driver.
1. The actual policy limits
Sometimes, an offer involves round figures and therefore makes someone think they are getting the maximum amount of compensation possible. They realize that the settlement is below their total costs, but they may jump to the automatic conclusion that the insurance professional making the offer has settled for the maximum amount possible.
Often, that is not the case. A settlement is most beneficial for the insurance company when it is less than the maximum limit for the policy, so it is important that you never assume how much coverage the other party had until you verify the policy limits. There may still be room to negotiate for more compensation given the size of the policy and your losses.
2. Your current and future costs
Whether there are bills that haven’t reached you from the hospital yet or you will require regular medical care for the next few years, you may not yet know the full extent of what the crash will cost you.
Not only do you need compensation for your current bills and financial losses, but you also need to think about future expenses and lost wages. The more significant the injuries you suffered, the more likely they are to have lingering consequences for both your overall medical expenses and your income from your job.
The average driver in Louisiana may struggle to handle a complex insurance claim following a wreck. People sometimes need an attorney to review their cases and help them understand if the insurance company has been fair with them.
Learning more about what you can expect after a motor vehicle collision can help you identify when a settlement offer might be an example of bad faith insurance practices and an attempt to deny you the compensation you truly deserve.