Car accidents often result in injuries. In many cases, the injuries are strains, broken bones, and cuts, but there’s also the risk of far greater damage to your body. It can sometimes take years to recover from the trauma. Sometimes, your body and/or mind are injured to the point where your health and overall quality of life are impacted forever.
In a perfect world, the insurance company would look at your personal injury claim following an Illinois car accident and promptly pay you everything you’re entitled to. The problem is that we don’t live in a perfect world and that there have been many cases of insurance companies offering unreasonably tiny settlements and even refusing to pay anything at all.
The good news is that there are some things you can do that will help you maximize your settlement from the insurance company, along with an Illinois car accident attorney by your side.
Question What the Insurance Companies Tell You
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it’s tempting to take the first settlement the insurance company offers, especially if you’re unable to work and the bills are starting to pile up. In most cases, accepting the first offer is a mistake. There are a few different reasons why you shouldn’t accept the first settlement offer.
You Don’t Know How Much Money You’ll Ultimately Need
The harsh reality is that it takes time to determine just how much money you’ll need to survive. Issues that impact your financial future that must be considered following a car accident that left you injured include:
- The cost of the medical treatment required to help you recover
- Whether you’ll be able to work
- If you can work, if the injuries will ultimately impact your earning potential
- If you’ve suffered injuries that will turn into chronic health issues
- If you’ll need in-home health care
- If you need to make adjustments to your home and lifestyle to accommodate your injuries
Insurance Companies Aren’t always honest
While there are many insurance companies out there that will be honest about how large a settlement you’re entitled to, there are also insurance companies that will try to con you. These less-than-honest companies will often try to get you to agree to an early settlement that fails to come even close to the amount of money you’re truly entitled to.
Dishonest insurance companies are the reason why you should never accept the very first settlement your insurance company offers, especially if they make it clear that by accepting the settlement, you will not be getting any more money from them. Not only do you want to hold out long enough to make sure all of your medical expenses connected to the accident are covered, but you also should meet with a lawyer who will look at the details of your case, compare it to similar accident cases, and make sure the insurance company is offering a fair settlement rather than a quick buy-off.
Keep a Copy of Every Bill That’s Connected to Your Accident
Insurance companies are notorious for quibbling about how much things cost. It doesn’t matter if it’s medical expenses, rental cars, or repair costs. They will often say that the amount the customer is asking for is too high and try to pay less or refuse to pay at all. The best way to circumvent this behavior is by keeping an accurate copy of every single expense connected to the accident. Even if you submit the original bill to your insurance company, make sure you keep a copy. Each of these bills will be useful if you ultimately find yourself in a position where you have to file a lawsuit against the insurance company because they are taking too long to pay out on the claim.
Hire a Good Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes many people make when it comes to dealing with their auto insurance company following a car accident is failing to enlist the services of a good car accident lawyer. The more severe the accident, the more important it is that you have a good lawyer in your corner.
The benefits of having a good lawyer in your corner following an auto accident include:
- They’ll take over dealing with the insurance company so that you can focus on recovering
- Simply knowing you’re working with a lawyer tends to make most insurance companies more willing to pay a fair settlement
- The lawyer has the tools and resources to accurately determine how much compensation you’re entitled to
- The lawyer will make sure that the insurance company doesn’t string you along until the statute of limitations expires, and you run out of legal options
- If the insurance company gives you no recourse but to file a lawsuit against them, your lawyer will handle everything
The sooner you contact Josh Rohrscheib, Attorney at Law, following your car accident, the sooner we can make sure you get the compensation you’re entitled to.