A car accident victim can only settle their case once. In other words, they cannot accept part of the money and seek more in the future if their injuries are lingering. For this reason, it is critical for accident victims to finish their treatment and receive proper assessment and education from medical providers. An initial settlement offer may be insufficient to cover future medical expenses.
If you were hurt in a car accident, you could benefit from consulting a car accident attorney before settling your case. The insurance company’s offer may seem tempting, but you could be entitled to much more. An experienced auto crash lawyer could evaluate your case and help you pursue maximum compensation.
Calculating a Fair Settlement Demand
When a victim reaches their maximum medical improvement after the accident, an attorney can begin collecting the bills, evaluating medical records, and assessing the case. The settlement demand made is based on the total amount of their medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and any other factors associated with their injuries. Once all of the documentation is in order, the lawyer and victim have a discussion to determine an appropriate amount. Then, the lawyer makes the settlement demand.
Potential Sources of Compensation
There are three types of insurance that may be available for a car accident settlement in Chicago:
- Liability insurance
- Uninsured motorist coverage
Liability coverage involves making a claim against the other driver and their insurance company. In Illinois, every driver is required to have liability insurance to cover claims by those who might be injured as a result of their negligence or misconduct. When someone is injured, the first place to look for recovery is the other driver’s insurance company.
However, two possible circumstances may hinder recovery of damages. First, the party who caused the accident may not have insurance. In these situations, the injured plaintiff may be able to make an uninsured motorist claim on their own insurance policy. Instead of going after the defendant’s insurance company, the injured plaintiff settles with their own provider. This is called an uninsured motorist claim, and they are quite common.
In some cases, the driver who caused the accident has insurance but it is insufficient to cover all the victim’s bills, pain and suffering, other losses. In that situation, the injured plaintiff seeks all of the money available from the other driver’s insurance company. The leftover damages become the underinsured motorist claim they pursue through their own insurance company.
Benefits of an Experienced Attorney
The insurance companies are experts in handling and assessing claims. Most injury victims have no experience presenting a claim to insurance companies, and they may undervalue their case. To protect its own financial interests, the insurance company wants to pay as little as possible. A personal injury attorney can help make sure the insurance company does not engage in questionable tactics or take advantage of the victim. Insurance companies behave better when they deal with an experienced lawyer.
Hiring an attorney also allows auto accident victims to focus on recovering from their injuries. The lawyer handles the legal issues, develops the claim, and presents the claim or negotiates with the insurance company. Meanwhile, the injured person is free to deal with the consequences of their accident. The partnership between the victim and their lawyer allows the client to maximize the value of their claim and expedite their ability to get back to a normal life.
Discuss Your Car Accident Settlement with an Experienced Chicago Attorney
Before accepting a settlement offer for your car accident, you could benefit from speaking with a dedicated Chicago attorney. Retaining a lawyer could be a positive step toward fair compensation for your injuries. Call today to discuss your case.