If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual, then there is a good chance you are entitled to various types of compensation. You should know that most injury claims are resolved through a settlement with insurance carriers.
However, reaching a fair settlement between the parties involved can become complicated. Here, we want to discuss what a personal injury settlement agreement is and whether or not you need an Irvine personal injury attorney to help you with this process.
Why do you Need a Settlement Agreement?
Most personal injury claims in California are resolved through a settlement with insurance carriers. If that were not the case, the court system would be thoroughly clogged up with injury claims ranging from minor vehicle accidents to simple slip and fall incidents.
These settlements are important because they ensure that any person, regardless of how minor or major their injury is, receives the compensation they need for their medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket losses, pain and suffering damages, property damage expenses, and more.
Understanding the Basics of a Personal Injury Settlement
After an injury occurs, the victim will typically report the incident to their insurance carrier, who will then file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. The insurance carrier of the at-fault party will conduct their own investigation into the incident in order to determine what happened and properly calculate the total expenses they need to payout. The injury victim and their insurance carrier will also conduct an investigation and calculate what they think should be paid by the other party.
In some cases, it is necessary to get an attorney involved who can fully investigate the case and properly calculate the total expected losses of the victim. An attorney can send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier and help ensure that their client is adequately compensated by the at-fault party.
Unfortunately, there are times when the other insurance carrier sends back an inadequate counteroffer. In some cases, the other insurance carrier may deny a claim altogether. When this occurs, it may be necessary for the injury victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in order to recover the compensation they deserve.
Never Settle Too Early
It is critical that any injury victim understand that they should not rush to reach a personal injury settlement with the at-fault party. No victim should ever agree to a settlement or sign any release form until after they have reached what their doctor considers maximum medical improvement. It is not uncommon for insurance carriers to send over early settlement offers in the hopes that the victim will simply want the case to be over with, sign the forms, and receive the settlement check.
You need to know that if you sign a release form and receive a settlement check from an insurance carrier, there will be no way to go back later and recover additional compensation, even if you discover that your injuries, property damage, or other losses are worse than initially realized.