You're driving home after a fun night out with friends. Out of nowhere, an inattentive driver runs a red light and side swipes you--sending your car spinning out of control. You wake up in the hospital, with a cast around your arm.
A million thoughts are running through your head. How long before you can return to work? Who will take care of your kids while you're hospitalized? And how can you make sure the other driver pays for your pain and suffering?
Suddenly, an insurance claims adjuster shows up at your door, offering you a settlement for the accident. They offer to cover your medical bills for your broken arm in addition to the cost of your totaled car. It may seem like an easy solution, but here are three reasons to hold off on accepting the deal:
- Some injuries can present themselves later on. Whiplash and nerve damage commonly become symptomatic later on. Signs of internal bleeding may not become noticeable for days. In addition, a car crash is a traumatic experience--which could result in post-traumatic stress disorder. All of these conditions would be diagnosable after a certain amount of time has lapsed since the accident.
- Your cognitive abilities may be compromised. If your doctor has given you prescription medication to manage your pain, it could impact your decision-making abilities. In addition, you could have a concussion or be in shock. It's wise to hold off on making any major decisions until you're better.
- You probably haven't done this before. Insurance adjusters make a living investigating accidents and making settlements. They know how the process works, and they know what types of offers are in their best interest. Don't let your lack experience make you accept a deal without running it by your own legal counsel first.
The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. Don't let an insurance adjuster prey upon your vulnerable state by talking you into a settlement that doesn't serve your best interest. It's important to get an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate on your behalf.