If you were recently involved in an auto accident, and were just offered a settlement by your insurance company, you need to make sure that the settlement is fair and takes care of all of your needs. Here are four different areas you need to take into consideration when determining if your settlement offer was fair or not.
#1 Medical Care
The first thing that you need to take into consideration is the cost of your medical care. Gather up all of your medical bills and figure out what the total cost of your medical care was that you accumulated due to your accident. Be sure to include things such as medication and assistance tools that you had to purchase to aid in your recovery. If you needed assistance with transportation to and from your medical appointments or required home health aids, be sure to include those costs as well.
Your settlement should allow you to pay all of the medical bills that you accumulated due to the accident.
#2 Long-Term Medical Care
If you were hurt or injured in such a way that you will require long-term medical care or you are going to be disabled permanently now because of your injuries, you need to take into account the long-term cost of medical care. This can be hard to estimate on your own if you don't have a lot of medical knowledge. Your attorney and your doctors should be able to help you come up with an accurate estimate of how much your future medical expenses will be. Make sure that you have a solid idea of your future medical costs, and make sure that your settlement will cover all of those future costs.
#3 Income Lost
Next, if you had to take time off of work due to your injures, sit down and figure out how many days or hours of work that you missed, and calculate the money that you would have made had you been able to work. If you don't have a consistent work schedule but work a consistent amount of hours per week, use those numbers to figure out your lost income costs. Your attorney should be able to assist you with these calculations.
Your settlement should allow you to recover all the money that you lost out on because you couldn't work due to the accident.
#4 Vehicle Expenses
Finally, your settlement offer should cover the full cost of repairing all of the body damage and mechanical damage that your vehicle suffered. If your vehicle was totaled in the accident, your settlement should allow you to pay off your vehicle note if you have one, and provide you with enough money to purchase a comparable vehicle to the one that you lost. Additionally, your settlement should cover the cost of a rental vehicle while your vehicle is either being repaired or while you search for a new vehicle.
Go over your settlement offer closely with your lawyer, and make sure that it provides for and covers all of the above needs. If it doesn't meet your needs, work with your attorney to present a counter-settlement amount and provide validation for the amount that you are requesting instead. Be prepared to go a little high in your counter-offer so that even if they offer a slightly lower amount in response to your counter-offer, it will still cover your needs and expenses. For more information, contact a lawyer from a firm like Conway Pauley & Johnson PC Attys.