When a victim has suffered serious injuries in an accident caused by another party, they may be stressed over the financial impact their injuries are causing. Not only are there often unexpected and mounting medical bills to worry about, but many accident injuries are severe enough that the victim is unable to work while they are recovering, causing a loss of income on top of all the other stresses their injuries are causing them.
Virginia law allows victims to pursue legal action against the at-fault party to recoup financial compensation for these losses and in most accident cases, it is the at-fault’s insurance company that pays out this compensation, such as in a vehicle accident or premises liability claim. In the majority of personal injury actions, the insurance company settles with the victim and the case never goes to trial. The question for many victims, however, is when is the right time to settle. A Virginia injury attorney can answer that question for you.
Factors to Consider Before Accepting a Settlement Offer
When a victim is injured, the insurance company will often try to settle the case with them as quickly as possible, especially if the victim has not obtained the services of an injury attorney. The goal of the insurance company is to pay the victim as little as possible, not paying the victim what they actually deserve.
Before a victim does accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, they should be confident they know the answers to the following questions:
- What is the victim’s case worth? Has the victim reached their medical maximum, or will there be future medical care needed and how much will these treatments be? The at-fault party and their insurance company are liable for all of the victim’s past, present, and future medical bills.
- How has/will the victim’s injury affect their ability to work or earn future income? In some cases, the injuries a victim suffers may be so serious that they are left unable to return to the occupation they had prior to the injury. In these situations, the victim is entitled to future loss of income.
- What are all the ways the victim’s life has been impacted by their injuries? Personal injury damages also include non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, scarring, disfigurement, permanent disability, and more.
Before accepting any settlement offer, a victim should always consult with a personal injury lawyer who will evaluate the case to determine the full amount of damages that any settlement offer should cover. Remember, once you accept settlement funds from an insurance company, that closes the door tightly shut to any future claims that arise from your injury.
Contact Our Office Today
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what legal options you may have. The legal team at Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn has almost 40 years of experience advocating for injured victims and their families and will help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Each attorney at our firm is a skilled negotiator, but each one also has extensive experience in litigation should the insurance company fail to negotiate in good faith. Call our office today for a free and confidential case evaluation.