After a car accident in Alabama, dealing with insurance companies is a necessary part of the recovery process. It is common to receive a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, you might wonder whether you have to accept their first offer.
Insurance companies often aim to settle claims quickly and economically. Their first offer might not fully reflect the extent of your damages, including pain and suffering. Knowing how to approach these initial offers can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.
Evaluate the first offer
You do not have to accept the first offer from the insurance company. It is important to evaluate the offer carefully. Consider whether it covers all your current and future medical expenses, repairs for your vehicle and any lost wages due to the accident.
Consider the full extent of your damages
The first offer might not account for ongoing medical treatment or the full impact of your injuries on your daily life. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, may not show up initially and may take a few years to heal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI causes about 30% of all deaths related to injuries.
You have the right to negotiate for a settlement that accurately reflects your total damages.
Negotiate for a fair settlement
You can negotiate with the insurance company. It is a common practice to counteroffer if the initial settlement does not meet your needs. Presenting evidence such as medical bills, repair estimates and documentation of lost wages can strengthen your position.
Take time to decide
Take your time to decide. While you might feel pressured to settle quickly, it is important to ensure the offer adequately covers all your expenses. Rushing into an agreement might leave you with insufficient compensation for your needs.
After a car accident in Alabama, you have the right to seek a settlement that fully compensates you for your losses and damages so you can recover and move forward after the accident.