Some Crucial Things You Need To Know About Car Accident Settlement Agreements
After suffering injuries in a Florida car accident because of the negligence of another party, you may be eligible to recover compensation. As soon as you begin the process of recovering compensation, the at-fault party’s insurance company might prepare a quick settlement agreement. The good thing about a settlement agreement between a plaintiff and the at-fault party’s insurance company is that it can be used to resolve matters quickly. However, before you sign a quick car accident settlement agreement from the at-fault party’s insurance company, there are some things you need to know. This article discusses five of the most crucial things you need to know about car accident settlement agreements.
Understanding the Meaning of a Settlement Agreement
Before discussing what you should know about car accident settlement agreements, it is important that you first understand what a car accident settlement agreement is. This is an agreement between you (the plaintiff) and the at-fault party’s insurance company that, when signed, results in payment of compensation and the resolution of the dispute. Usually, the at-fault party’s insurance company prepares the settlement agreement. Then it sends a representative to the plaintiff so they can explain that the plaintiff needs to sign the agreement before they can recover payment.
Five Things To Know About Car Accident Settlement Agreements
The following are five of the most crucial things you need to know about car accident settlement agreements. Keep these things in mind and think about them before signing a quick settlement agreement from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
A Car Accident Settlement Agreement Is a Legally Binding Contract
Suppose you sign the settlement agreement only for you to realize you made a mistake. You cannot just get out of the agreement because you changed your mind in such a case. A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract, and the insurance company can proceed to court to enforce the terms of the agreement.
The Settlement Offer Is Likely Lower Than The Value of Your Claim
If it is a quick settlement offer, it is likely lower than the value of your claim. Just because it seems like a reasonable amount does not mean that the offer is a fair one. You need to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement to get a fair amount. At this point, you can tell the full extent of your injuries and thus your damages.
Car Settlement Agreements Can Cover a Variety of Damages
Most car accident victims think that a car accident settlement agreement only covers medical expenses. However, the truth is that car accident settlement agreements cover a variety of damages. Car accident settlement agreements cover compensation for various economic and non-economic damages. Therefore, before signing a settlement agreement, ensure it covers all the damages you are eligible for.
The following are some of the most common economic and non-economic damages that car accident victims are eligible for;
- Medical expenses (both past and future)
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
- Mental anguish
When You Sign a Car Accident Settlement Agreement, You Release All Parties From Liability
Firstly, suppose you sign a car accident settlement agreement that has been offered to you too fast, and then in the future, you realize you sustained more severe injuries than you initially thought. In such a case, you cannot go back and ask for more money from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Secondly, signing a car accident settlement agreement usually leads to the release of all liable parties from further liability claims. This applies to both known and unknown parties. So, if, for example, the injuries you suffered were caused by a negligent driver and defective seat belt, if you sign an agreement with the other driver’s insurance company, you could give up your right to pursue a product liability claim.
You Can Negotiate
You are not legally obligated to accept a settlement offer. A car accident settlement offer is just that, an offer. Therefore, you have every right to negotiate. You can make a counteroffer and then start negotiations.
Contact a Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a Florida car accident because of another party’s negligence, you do not have to do this alone. You can get help from an experienced and dedicated Florida car accident attorney. A qualified attorney can help you determine the damages you are qualified to recover and calculate the value of your damages. An attorney can help you negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company. With the help of an attorney, you do not have to worry about accepting an unfair deal.
Our Fort Myers car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., are here to help you. We are dedicated to helping accident victims, and their families recover the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.