Before you accept any settlement offer, it is important to understand the full amount you are legally entitled to.
If you have been in a car accident, then you will probably have to deal with an insurance company. In Missouri, drivers are required to carry the mandatory minimum insurance, which is liability insurance. Liability insurance covers both the driver who is at fault for injuries and the other driver’s injuries and damages. It is rare that an auto accident case will ever see the inside of a courtroom. Most personal injury cases, including auto accident suits, are settled long before they have to go before a judge and jury.
The mistake that many drivers make when dealing with an insurance company is to assume that the company has an obligation to ensure that the person gets all that they are entitled to. Just because they work for you and you have paid your premium, that does not mean that they have your best interests as their top priority. In fact, just like any other business, their entire intention is to limit their liability and to save their bottom line.
In most instances, you are almost guaranteed to get more for your auto accident settlement if you have an attorney. The main reason for this is that an experienced attorney has the skills necessary to negotiate with the insurance company. They also know how to figure out and calculate how much your damages and injuries are worth. If you don’t know how to do that, then you are likely entering into a settlement agreement without all the necessary information that you need to get what you deserve and will likely get way less than you are entitled to.
Is the First Insurance Settlement Offer the Only or Best Offer?
The reason that the period of time before a case has to go to court is referred to as the “negotiation phase” is because it’s when the initial negotiation happens. Just like going to a car dealership, most consumers know that the first price is typically the “starting point,” not the endpoint. It is no different when you are dealing with an insurance company. There is usually room for negotiation. The problem is that if you don’t have representation, you won’t know if the settlement offer will be enough to cover your costs. You also might not anticipate further issues or complications that might arise down the line. If you don’t, that can leave you vulnerable to paying for your own medical problems in the future.
In Missouri, once it’s been signed, a settlement agreement absolves an insurance company from any further litigation. Before you accept any offer, make sure to have an experienced attorney look over the offer to make sure that it is enough to cover your costs both for now and for anything that might arise in the future. If you don’t, you are likely missing out on money that you are entitled to. Call (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.