Settling with an Insurer vs. Taking Your Car Accident Claim to Court
When car accidents and injuries occur, most people file a claim with their insurer, hoping to recoup payment for their medical expenses, property damages, and lost wages. But what do you do if your car accident claim is denied, or if the amount of compensation the insurance company offers is less than you expected? In these situations, our experienced personal injury attorney can help guide you through the available options. In some cases, we can negotiate a better settlement with the insurer. In others, you stand a better chance of getting the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to by taking your claim to court.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Car Accident
Car accidents are sudden, traumatic events, and in the aftermath you are likely to be in a sense of shock, while struggling to recover from your injuries. Unfortunately, it is at this vulnerable time when you will be forced to deal with insurance company claims adjusters. These people will be investigating your claim in order to determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and you should be prepared to have any statements you make, either at the accident scene or when dealing with claims representatives and investigators, used against you. Tactics these companies often use when dealing with car accident victims include the following:
- Disputing the details of the car accident;
- Attempting to blame you for the accident or your injuries;
- Downplaying the severity of your injuries and the potential for permanent disabilities;
- Offering immediate settlements that are far less than what you are entitled to.
Insure.com states that insurance companies know that if a claimant has not consulted with a car accident attorney, the company stands a better chance of denying or downplaying the claim, saving themselves money. Once you accept a settlement, you will be signing away any future rights to compensation.
The Benefits of Taking Your Case to Court
We know that getting the most out of an insurance settlement requires skilled negotiations. We can investigate your case and produce the evidence needed to show not only the damages you have already suffered, but future expenses you are likely to incur.
Depending on your situation, it may benefit you to take the at fault driver to court, rather than to accept a mediocre settlement from the insurer. Under the Florida statutes, you may be entitled to additional types of compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, which includes:
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish;
- Loss of enjoyment in life, due to disfigurement or lasting disabilities;
- Compensation for the suffering your family members endure;
- Punitive damages, which punishes the at fault driver for conduct that was particularly willful or reckless.
These additional types of compensation can add up to significant amounts of money. Before accepting a settlement offer from an insurer, call or contact the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely online first. We can arrange a free consultation with our Bradenton car accident attorney, who can advise you on the best course of action in your case.