Being involved in an accident is a traumatic and confusing event. No matter how small the accident is, the accident disorients the normal thinking process and leaves you confused. However, one factor that remains is the worry if everyone is all right. It is important to be cautious about your legal rights, especially regarding the car settlement agreement.
A car accident settlement agreement, which is mostly referred to as a release, is a document offered by the driver’s insurance company at fault. Although it might be tempting to accept the agreement offered, you need to know the following before signing on the dotted line.
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Car Accident Settlement is Almost Always Negotiable
On most occasions, the insurance company will reach out to you in a matter of days after you have filed a lawsuit against the motorist they have insured. In these instances, the insurance company may claim that the agreement presented to you is non-negotiable. However, almost always, all the agreements offered have room for negotiations since the first settlement is generally below the accident claim value. Statistics indicate that more than 95% of personal injury cases are settled pre-trial; therefore, with a good lawyer, you will have the chance to be compensated for your damages.
A Car Accident Settlement Agreement Covers All Claims
After an accident, you may not realize the extent of your injuries due to the kicking of adrenaline. Therefore, before signing a car settlement agreement, it is important to understand that you are giving up all your regal rights, current, past, or future, for any claim that might later come up. For example, if you realize that you sustained a back injury after signing on the dotted line, the agreement releases you from any right to pursue a claim. Thus, until you see a doctor and have been cleared, it is advisable not to sign the agreement.
Car Accident Agreements Cover All Parties
In-car accidents that involve multiple vehicles and drivers, there is a possibility that more than one party is responsible for the accident. Therefore, more than one party could share liability for the accident. For example, a reckless driver could cause an accident, but a defective airbag also contributes to the extent of your injuries. Once you sign a car accident settlement with the driver’s insurer, it covers even the other company, releasing both parties.
A Car Accident Settlement Is Final
Once you agree with the insurance company and sign on the dotted line, this becomes a legally binding contract. Even if you discover that you made a wrong decision, have other complications, or other parties are responsible, the agreement is irreversible and can be enforced by the court. However, hiring a car accident attorney like those at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia can help you not be pressured into making this mistake.
Car Accident Settlement Can Limit Your Rights
Although it is tempting to sign the settlement and get over the whole process, it is crucial to keep in mind that some insurance companies might hide clauses of the agreement in the fine print, limiting your rights. For example, even though the amount you have been compensated for seems fair, they might stipulate strict payment schedules, rules on spending the money, and mandatory arbitration meetings to resolve disputes. Therefore, it is important to have a qualified attorney review it before you sign.
To get a car accident settlement may seem like a straightforward journey, but there is a lot to consider and watch out for. To ensure fair compensation for your injuries, it is always advisable to have a car accident attorney present.