Being injured in a car accident means that you need to be compensated to recover from the costs you have incurred. Most of the time, a huge amount stems from the medical expenses incurred. Other substantial costs are always related to property damage.
With a reasonable settlement, you may cover all these costs. However, if you receive an unfair settlement, this could mean that at one point you will have to dig dip in your pockets to cater for any car accident-related expense.
If you’re not happy with the value that has been placed on your vehicle, you may have a chance to seek for a better settlement.
Key Things to Know Before Refusing Your Car Settlement
Accepting a quick settlement from the insurance company could mean getting a lower settlement. But this is only applicable if you realize your case may be worth more than what is being offered.
If you believe your injuries are minor, accepting that small settlement would make sense. However, before refuse that settlement offered to you, you should consider the below points
- Insurance companies are in business: As much as insurance companies claim to take you back to your former position, they are out there for business purposes. Generally speaking, any insurance adjuster at all times tries to offer a lower settlement even if it’s clear that one is faultless. That why it’s always recommended to have a lawyer for car accident in Anchorage. Such a lawyer knows all the tactics used by insurance companies in attempt to offer lower car settlements.
- There is no flat rate settlement amount: Car accidents are different; this is the same case with car settlements. The amount of settlement offered by the insurance company may differ based on many factors. If your injuries are not severe, the settlement will also not be high.
- A lawyer who accepts fees on a contingency basis: Even though most of the lawyers handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis, it’s good to be sure your lawyer works under such terms. With this, lawyer fees will be deducted from the final settlement received.
- The settlement offer provided is not the final: Many individuals are not aware that one doesn’t have to accept the first offer granted by the insurance company. You have a right to negotiate your car settlement. To start with, getting the first offer may also be challenging. That’s why some people fear to negotiate for the next best offer. The first step before negotiating is to get the true value of your car. After this, you should come up with a figure you feel is appropriate for a fair settlement. Make sure to use a lawyer to help determine the absolute value. Your lawyer will also assist you in sending a demand letter to the insurance company.
- It takes time to have your car settlement: There is no etched in stone rule as to when a car settlement can be offered. Thus, the duration will depend on many factors. If your car settlement seems substantial, the insurance company may take several months to review any information deemed fit to affect the settlement. Though some settlements are made much quicker, you may be forced to wait for too long to have another settlement offered.
The Average Car Settlement in Places Like Alaska
In Alaska, there is no average settlement. The insurance company and your lawyer will come up with a fair settlement by determining the below issues:
- The insurance policy limits
- Cost of car repairs
- Medical expenses including past or future
To ensure you get a better offer, you may consider informing the insurance company about the dissatisfaction of the settlement offer. You can only do this through the help of your lawyer.
Your lawyer prepares the relevant documents needed to back up your argument. The main issue is to get a settlement that will cover all your expenses and take you back to the position you were before the accident happened.
According to Alaska car accident laws, the time limit for filing a car accident lawsuit is two years. The limit applies even if you have your case pending.
Thus, it should be in your best interest to get some legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you get your case handled within the stipulated time.
If you consider the above factors and still feel it’s worth refusing your car settlement, you should look for an experienced car accident lawyer to assist you. Never attempt to negotiate with the insurance companies alone. Without any legal knowledge, you may even get a worse settlement.
Your lawyer is the one to engage in a back-and-forth negotiation until finally, a fair settlement is reached. However, he/she must know the value of your case. As it’s only through this can the lawyer determine whether it’s worth pursuing or negotiating a fair settlement.