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Understanding damages before accepting settlement offers

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents happen often. They happen on Alabama roads and freeways every single day. For some drivers, accidents cause delays and annoyances that they must deal with during their already hectic lives. For others, accidents cause practically immeasurable losses, devastating injuries, and preventable deaths.

Wherever a motor vehicle accident victim falls on this spectrum, they will likely incur some costs due to the negligence of the responsible driver. Those costs may be recoverable as damages, which courts can award to victims when they pursue litigation based on personal injury claims. Victims can also choose to settle their claims for compensation, but before they do they should understand the full extent of their losses.

What is a settlement?

A settlement is an agreement between two parties to a possible legal claim. Often, the party at fault will offer the victim money to keep their claims out of court. In exchange for money as compensation for their losses, the victim will agree to waive their future rights to sue on the possible claims.

Why shouldn’t everyone settle their motor vehicle accident claims?

On the surface, settlements seem like excellent options for motor vehicle accident victims because they get them financial help without having to go to court. Many victims struggle financially after their accidents as they begin to receive medical bills and lose time from work due to their recoveries. They may want to get compensated as fast as possible to avoid financial discomfort.

However, losses from car accident claims can grow over time. That means that a victim’s initial losses may not be the only ones the incur from their involvement in a motor vehicle crash. Their injuries may be worse than initially thought, and their damages may continue to accrue beyond their initial totals shortly after their accident.

What this means is that a settlement may not fully compensate a victim for their losses if it is too low or does not anticipate all their possible losses. Before accepting a settlement offer, a victim can talk to their trusted personal injury attorney about their options. This post does not provide any legal advice to its readers.