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Should I Accept a Settlement Offer After an Accident

Car accidents occur quite often. While they usually result in minor injuries and damage, sometimes the injuries are serious. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis DOT), there were more than 31,000 injury crashes in the state

in 2016 and more than 43,000 people were injured. An accident can leave you with physical injuries and other damages. While you are trying to recover from your injuries, you will likely be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. They will discuss the accident and take a statement.

What Happens if They Offer a Settlement?

Car insurance companies generally use standard guidelines to determine the settlement after an accident. As a result, they may offer you a settlement that is less than what you anticipated. It may even be less than your medical expenses. The first thing to remember about settlement offers is that you do not need to accept the first offer that is made.

Importantly, never accept a settlement before your injuries are completely healed. You may not know what medical expenses you will incur in the future. You may still need further surgery, physical therapy and more. You cannot take a settlement unless your expenses are complete.

When you take a settlement payment, you are essentially settling the case. Once you cash a settlement check, you will usually be precluded from taking any further action to collect any additional compensation for your injuries. This could cause you to take much less than what you deserve.

Negotiating a Settlement

It is no surprise that insurance companies try to settle cases for as little money as possible. Many people simply accept this first offer and do not realize that they are able to negotiate a more realistic settlement. Although you can try to negotiate a fair settlement on your own, you are much likely to have better success with help from an experienced Wisconsin car accident attorney.

When you want to successfully negotiate a claim, you will need to make sure that you have all of the necessary documentation to prove your case. You may need to have expert testimony about how the accident occurred, witness statements, and sometimes even an accident reconstruction. In addition, you will need to provide proof of your injuries to include medical records, physician reports, medical bills, and more. Each case is different and has a unique set of circumstances. A skilled attorney knows what is needed for your claim and will work to protect your rights and obtain the best settlement possible.

Although most cases are settled through negotiations, sometimes a settlement cannot be reached. When that happens, the case will go to court. There, a judge or jury will ultimately decide the case and will determine the appropriate settlement. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other things such as lost wages and pain and suffering.

You can count on our legal team to work on your behalf to favorably resolve your case. Contact our office at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. to discuss the details of your injury today.

Published January 22, 2019
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