If you got hurt in a truck accident, you might have questions about how settlements work. The liability insurer of the at-fault party might be trying to get you to settle your claim. A claims adjuster will likely contact you and try to find out how little it will take to get you to resolve the matter. A California truck accident attorney can guide you through the claims process and deal directly with the claims adjuster and insurer so that you do not have to do so.
5 Things to Know About Truck Accident Settlements
Here are five things that you need to know about truck accident settlements:
1. You have to pay all of your medical bills out of the settlement check.
Your health insurance is unlikely to pay your medical bills from a motor vehicle accident. Many health insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for these events. Sometimes, people mistakenly assume that their health insurance company will pay their medical bills and that the injured person does not have to pay these expenses out of the settlement check. The plaintiff accepts a lower settlement offer because of these incorrect assumptions and is shocked when the health insurer denies the claims.
2. Reimbursement for your lost wages will also come out of that one check.
If you read the fine print of the papers you have to sign before the insurer gives you the settlement check, you will see that you are waiving the right to additional compensation for any other losses from the truck accident. You will not receive a separate check for the income you missed while recuperating from your injuries.
3. Future medical bills will not mean more money down the road.
Once you settle with the insurer of the at-fault party, you will not get any more money from them. Even if you later discover that you have to undergo additional medical procedures, like surgery, the insurance company will not pay you more money. And again, your health insurer will likely deny coverage. You could find yourself with a stack of medical bills that you cannot afford to pay.
If you enter into payment arrangements with the hospital, surgeon, and physical therapy center, you could be paying hundreds of dollars every month for 10 years or longer. One of the most common reasons that people file for bankruptcy is medical expenses. That one decision to settle your case before you healed completely could damage your life and your finances for a decade or longer.
4. You will not get more money for later-discovered impairment.
If you realize after the settlement that you are not going to recover the full amount of strength, flexibility, range of motion, or function that you had before the truck accident, the insurance will not pay you more money. Your case might have been worth much more money than you received. Let’s say that you accepted $15,000 in settlement of your injury claim.
A few months later, you complete physical therapy and discover that you will have permanent impairment. The disability permanent disability might affect your ability to earn a living. Your claim might have a worth of $250,000 or more, but you will never see that money, because you settled for $15,000.
5. The settlement negotiations might be a trap.
The claims adjuster might drag out the settlement negotiations with you, particularly if you are trying to handle the matter on your own without a lawyer, hoping to trick you into missing the statute of limitations. California law limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit seeking money damages for an injury to your person. These rules are statutes of limitations.
If you miss the deadline, you can lose the right ever to get any compensation from the person who harmed you, regardless of the severity of your injuries. The adjuster scores a huge victory while you experience a total loss.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our California personal injury attorneys can protect your right to compensation and advocate aggressively for you to receive all the money damages that you deserve.