Getting into a car crash can be a truly terrifying experience. One moment, you're on your way to the store or work and the next, you're inspecting yourself and your passengers for serious injuries. Instead of finishing your drive, you'll be worrying about repairing or replacing your vehicle, filing a police report and insurance claim, and seeking necessary medical attention.
When you sustain injuries as the result of a collision, you probably feel grateful to have insurance coverage. After all, since you've paid your premium for years, you believe that your insurance company will make sure that you're properly covered. Sadly, this isn't always what happens in the aftermath of a serious motor vehicle collision.
Insurance companies are driven by profits, not compassion
You may want to believe that your insurance provider will look out for your best interests, but, in reality, they are looking to protect their own bottom line. With few exceptions, most insurers are for-profit companies that do everything in their power to limit their financial liability.
This can include the liability that results when a valid policy holder ends up hurt in a crash. The more severe your injuries, the more motivation your insurance company will have to limit how much the crash ends up costing them. That's why it's so important to carefully consider any settlement amount offered.
A settlement will be the only payment you receive
If you accept a settlement payment, it means you won't have the option of claiming additional expenses in the future. You will sign documents stating as much when you accept the settlement offer. Lump sum settlements can help policy holders get back on their feet, but they can also help insurance companies confuse or take advantage of their customers.
Many people experience financial hardship in the immediate wake of a car crash. A check for a substantial amount of money can seem tempting. Before you agree to that settlement offer, however, you need to carefully consider the cost of your injuries and the property damage resulting from the crash.
Do you require ongoing medical treatments? How long were you out of work? If the amount offered doesn't cover all of your current expenses and potential future expenses as well, you need to reject it or counter it with a more reasonable offer.
Handle negotiations with insurers carefully
Be respectful but firm when speaking with your insurance company. In some cases, they could pressure you to take a lower settlement than you deserve or even try to trick you into admitting fault to avoid paying out on the claim.
In some cases where your insurance company simply won't work with you, you may have to take additional legal steps to ensure your losses get properly covered.