The aftermath of a serious car accident can be very frightening and chaotic. Police are asking questions; your car may be totaled; you may have to stay in the hospital for serious injuries, missing work and being away from your family.
In the midst of all this, insurance adjusters may be trying to get you to settle a claim. While it may be tempting to just agree to the settlement so you can move on, accepting it prematurely could be a costly mistake. Below, we look at a few reasons why it can be critical that you slow down and consider all your options before you agree to anything after a car crash.
- You may not know the full extent of your injuries. Some car accident injuries take time to show up, and others get worse over time; injuries that you might assume are minor or temporary could actually be quite severe and difficult to treat. You need time to consult medical professionals to assess your injuries.
- Your cognitive function may be impaired. Between the potential for concussions or brain trauma and the use of strong pain medication, car crash victims may experience some impairment their cognitive function and decision-making skills. Making a decision about your financial future under these circumstances could prove to be a mistake.
- You need to level the playing field. Insurance companies and adjusters deal with car accidents and injured parties all the time. They know how the process works, what their settlement offer covers and what to expect in the days ahead. You, on the other hand, could be in this situation for the very first time. That coupled with the fact that your life can be turned upside down after a crash puts you at a disadvantage when talking to insurance companies.
For these reasons, it can be crucial that you take your time and not rush into anything after a serious car accident. It can also be wise to talk to an attorney about your options for filing a legal claim before you agree to anything, as you may be in a position to collect far more than an insurance company is offering.