You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if a negligent driver caused your auto collision in California. One of the most important decisions you will need to make is whether to accept a settlement of your claim.
You need to answer five important questions about your case to make the right decision. You also need the help of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement.
#1: Have You Finished Medical Treatment?
You may not realize the importance of waiting to settle your case until you complete your medical treatment. However, you should not settle your claim until you fully recover from your injuries or have recovered as much as possible and receive a final prognosis from your doctor. This could take months or longer if you suffered a severe injury or multiple injuries, which is common in motorcycle crashes.
Why is it important to wait to settle your case? Our San Diego personal injury attorney knows you are entitled to recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in California. You cannot know the full value of your claim and your future damages until you complete your medical treatment or know what future medical care you will need if you will not make a full recovery.
#2: Is the Insurance Company Offering a Quick Settlement?
You need to be extremely wary if the insurance company pressures you to accept a quick settlement of your claim. You do not want to make a mistake in your case and accept the offer.
The insurance company is most likely trying to settle your claim quickly because they realize the value of your claim. Insurance companies hope you will accept less compensation than you deserve if you can receive your money quickly.
However, you should not accept the insurance company’s first offer. Once you settle your claim, it will be a final settlement of your case. You will not be able to reopen your case if you later discover your injuries are more severe than you thought.
#3: How Strong Is the Evidence?
To win your case, you will need to prove that the negligent driver caused your motorcycle accident, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to. You prove these elements of your case through the use of evidence.
When deciding whether to settle your claim, you need to evaluate the strength of your evidence. If you have strong evidence that establishes your case against the at-fault driver, you should expect to receive the full value of your claim in your settlement. If the insurance company refuses to make you a fair offer, it may be better to wait to settle your claim and litigate your case if that becomes necessary.
#4: How Much Insurance Coverage Is Available?
You should not accept a settlement offer until you know how much insurance coverage the motorist has to pay you. No matter how strong your case is, the insurance company is only responsible for paying you up to the policy limits.
However, you should not take the insurance adjuster’s word on how much insurance coverage is available. You should obtain a copy of the insurance policy to verify the amount of insurance coverage before settling your claim.
If the negligent driver does not have sufficient insurance to fully compensate you, you should seek other avenues of compensation, if there are any. For example, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company under your underinsured motorist coverage.
#5: What Is Your Attorney Advising You to Do?
Following your lawyer’s advice on whether it is in your best interests to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer is essential. Your attorney will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case in deciding whether you should settle your claim. In addition, if they have settled many motorcycle accident claims, they will know what you can realistically expect to recover from the insurance company.