The Risks of Settling Too Soon After a Seattle Auto accident
Car crashes are often traumatic events. You might be physically injured, emotionally devastated, and in dire need of financial assistance. Even seemingly minor accidents can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars, especially if you need physical rehabilitation or are forced to take time away from work. Any settlement offer can seem tempting, especially if it provides enough compensation to cover your existing expenses.
However, you should always be wary of fast settlement offers—especially if you have been seriously injured or the other motorist was clearly at fault.
When you accept a settlement, you will almost certainly be required to sign a legal form agreeing not to pursue any further damages from the insurance company. This means you cannot receive compensation if you discover a late-onset injury, need additional disability benefits, or realize that the insurance money did not go as far as you expected.
Your Potential Damages After a Washington Car Crash
You stand your best chance at receiving a fair settlement when you speak to an experienced Washington car crash lawyer. An attorney could help you pursue compensation for the totality of your damages, including losses that the insurance company might otherwise refuse to reimburse. This could include:
- Your past, present, and anticipated medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost income from work
- The value of lost vacation days and paid sick leave
- Psychological therapy
- Prescription medication costs
- Property damage
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
The Complexity of Calculating Damages in Washington
Washington does not currently cap the damages you could receive after a car accident.
However, this does not mean that the insurance company will offer you a fair deal. The insurance company, after all, is a for-profit business, and its primary motivation is the preservation of its own profit margins. Disbursing fair settlements might help accident victims, but it will not help the insurance company’s shareholders.
An experienced car accident attorney could bolster your chance of receiving an equitable settlement by:
- Investigating the cause and circumstances of your accident, building a solid case to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault and that their insurer needs to cover your costs
- Subpoenaing surveillance camera footage and interviewing eyewitnesses to get a better understanding of how the accident happened
- Speaking to experts who can help assess your injuries and calculate the amount of money you need not only for your current treatment but any reasonable future needs
- Understanding how your injuries have impacted your life and mental well-being to ensure the settlement provides not only for your physical recovery but your psychological well-being
If we have compiled a compelling case and the insurance company is still unwilling to negotiate in good faith, we could advocate for you in court, taking the at-fault motorist and their insurance company before a judge and jury.