The question of when to settle your car accident case is a difficult one to answer. You want to get your money as quickly as possible, but at the same time, you want to avoid leaving money on the table by accepting a quick settlement that does not provide the compensation you deserve.
The only certainty is that if you plan to file a lawsuit, you must do it before the statute of limitation expires. The amount of time you have to file varies based on your state — in Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, including car accidents, is four years from the date of injury.
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File a Claim as Soon as Possible After a Car Accident
Filing a claim quickly after your accident offers several benefits.
If you contact an attorney and get the ball rolling right away, you do not have to worry about the statute of limitations precluding your ability to file a lawsuit.
The sooner you file a claim, the fresher the events in question are in the minds of witnesses, responding officers, and others who might provide testimony to bolster your case.
And, perhaps most important, your repair bills and medical bills will start piling up right away. That is on top of all your other bills, such as your mortgage, rent, and light bill, which continue to come in even if you have to miss work while recovering from your injuries.
Winning compensation after a car accident is not instantaneous; it can take weeks or months for the insurance company to process your claim and for us to negotiate a suitable settlement. The sooner you start this process, the sooner you will receive your compensation.
But Do Not Get in Such a Hurry That You Accept Less Than You Deserve
In the days or weeks that follow a car accident, it is not uncommon to receive a call from the insurance company — either yours or the at-fault driver’s – during which you receive a settlement offer.
If your bills are already stacking up on the kitchen table, and you do not have the money to pay them, it can be tempting to take a quick settlement offer just to get some much-needed money in your pocket.
However, consider a couple of things before you do. One, the insurance company is never voluntarily going to make you the most generous offer it can. Remember, these are for-profit companies; their goal is to maximize revenue and minimize expenses. That means not paying claimants any more than they have to.
Also, without consulting with an attorney, you may not know what damages you are eligible to receive. You know that you should receive compensation for your car repair or replacement and your medical bills. But what about pain and suffering? Lost wages? Reduced earning capacity? A lawyer can help you determine which of these damages you might be eligible for, calculate how much money you deserve, and then go after the responsible party and the insurance company for them.
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Your Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Decide When It Is the Right Time to Settle
It would be nice if there were an across-the-board answer for when you should settle your car accident case. However, there are too many variables at play to provide one.
Your attorney can help you decide what is best. For a free consultation, call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733.