Why You Should Not Accept the First Settlement Offer You Receive After a Car Accident

It is understandable that after a car accident you might simply want to move on with your life. The disruption of an accident throws your life completely. You want to regain your life and normalcy. So, when the first settlement offer you receive comes along, you feel tempted to take it. You figure you could use the money to pay some bills and put it all behind you.

Stop and Think About It.

Insurance companies make fast, lowball settlement offers to try to escape their liability to you for pennies. What may seem like a lot of money to you in the moment may not come close to the amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses, or that you need to cover your future medical expenses.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident due to the negligent behavior of another driver, contact our Nevada personal injury law firm before agreeing to, or signing, any settlement offers.

Nevada Car Insurance Requirements

Nevada law requires that anyone who drives and registers a vehicle in the state is required to carry insurance with minimums in place. These minimums may be what you this your maximum settlement can be, but often times, it can be much higher:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury or death coverage for one person; and
  • $20,000 of property damage liability (PDL) coverage.

These are the minimum coverages required, but often times, people have higher coverage to protect themselves against personal liability. After all, whenever you are on the road, you are personally liable for the damages you cause as a motorist.

Don’t Take The Uninsured Settlement Offer

According to a 2018 report by the Insurance Journal, 1 in 8 drivers in the United States is an uninsured driver. Nevada reportedly has on of the highest number of uninsured drivers at up to 20 percent. People drive without insurance for various reasons, but no matter why they do so, driving without the proper insurance violates Las Vegas, Nevada law.

You should not, under any circumstances, accept a car accident liability settlement offer from an uninsured motorist without first speaking with an attorney. Doing so could limit your ability to get compensation from your own uninsured driver insurance (if you carry it), and could forfeit the rights you have to compensation from other parties.

Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Lawyer to Appraise an Insurance Settlement Offer?

100% Yes

At the very least, do not trust an insurance company to tell you that you shouldn’t, or worse, that you can’t. The goal of the insurance company is to spend the least amount of money to make your claim go away. Insurance companies know that when there is a lawyer representing you, chances are almost always higher they will have to spend exponentially more money than they would have otherwise.

How does the right personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents help get you a better outcome of a personal injury case involving a car accident? The team at Paternoster Law Group can help you with:

  1. Reviewing, investigating, and giving you clarity on your case. The most important step is to figure out where you stand, both factually and legally. The accident details may still be fuzzy in your mind. By reviewing police reports, hospital records, and any other facts from the scene including documentation about the crash, we can determine if you have a claim the insurance company would rather just have disappear.
  2. Dealing with the other side. Nothing is worse than when you are recovering from a car accident than annoying, disturbing phone calls from the other insurance company and others involved in the crash. An attorney can help you by taking that stress off your shoulders and handling negotiations with the other parties, their insurance.
  3. Navigating Nevada law. Lawyers, by virtue of their education and experience, understand how to navigate the Nevada legal system so as to give you the best chance of getting the most money available.
  4. Getting through it. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we understand how an accident can turn your world upside down. We are here to help our clients through a tough period of their lives by treating them with respect and fighting for you.

While you aren’t required to get a lawyer after a car accident, hiring one makes good financial sense. You have nothing to lose by scheduling a free consultation with an experienced car accident injury attorney. Protect yourself and your family’s future by contacting our office today.

Common Types of Medical Injuries from Car Accidents

Las Vegas highways and city streets are always crazy and congested (who wants to drive down The Strip?). According to the Nevada Department of Public Safety, the number of car crashes and fatalities on the roads were down statewide in 2019, but the danger is always there.

Whether you are walking along a small road, riding your bike around town, or traveling on a congested freeway, you are at risk of a collision resulting in serious injury. Common types of medical injuries from car accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Torn ligaments

The more serious the injury, the longer the recovery. For many auto accident victims, there is no immediate return to normal life. From relearning basic skills and motor functions to regaining mobility, recovery requires time. It also can require repeated surgeries, expensive recovery rooms, a lot of medication, and long-term costs. It is these costs that insurance companies often try to avoid by offering fast and insulting settlements. The low settlement offer the insurance company will give may not work in covering your expenses over the long term.

An Example of Some Medical Expenses.

Major medical expenses rarely decrease over time. Instead, the costs associated with medical care tend to increase to unimaginable amounts. Let’s take a close look at certain injuries and the associated expenses involved:

Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury can affect a person’s sensory, motor, and reflex functions. The higher on the spinal cord the damage occurs, the more severe the patient will experience the injury. A spinal cord injury is classified as either complete or incomplete. The classification depends upon whether the patient experiences any movement or sensation at or below the point of injury.

The average yearly health care and living expenses associated with a spinal cord injury depend upon the severity of the injury and the age at which the injury occurred. According to data from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the estimated lifetime costs are between $2.1 million up to $4.7 million, depending on the severity of the injury and the length of time the person must endure the injury.

Unexpected complications and changes in the patient’s health add additional costs. A home may need construction simply to accommodate a wheelchair or you may need to relocate your family closer to a medical facility. Accessible methods of transportation are another expensive consideration, with wheelchair vans costing upward of $80,000.

While it is hard to predict a patient’s future needs, the amount estimated above clearly demonstrates why no accident victim should ever settle for a lowball settlement offer. The offer may make the other party go away but it won’t help you cover your future healthcare needs, which can quickly climb into the millions.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts brain function. Car accidents are among the top three leading causes of TBIs, including concussions, which many people do not realize is a Traumatic Brain Injury.

A TBI can require hospitalization and a patient may experience long-term problems with:

  • Speech, hearing, or vision
  • Coordination or balance
  • Thinking and memory
  • Learning and emotions

In some cases, outpatient or in-home care are options for therapy and rehabilitation. Some of the common types of rehab needed are physical, occupational, and speech. In the event a patient needs full time skilled nursing care, the estimated monthly costs for a nursing home in Nevada are between $3,990 up to $8,070, but the median is $6,950. In Las Vegas, the average nursing home is $8,000 per month.

A severe Traumatic Brain Injury changes not only the patient’s life—but it also changes the lives of their family. If the injured was the primary financial provider, the loss of income is devastating. You want to make sure that providing excellent care is always available, and the low settlement they will initially offer won’t achieve that goal.

These are just a couple of examples of how a sudden injury can result in a lifetime of care with huge expense. Your financial future depends upon a highly-skilled personal injury lawyer reviewing the details of your case. Securing the best possible outcome for you is what a dedicated lawyer like myself will do; securing the best possible outcome for their bottom line is what an insurance company or uninsured driver will try to do.

Don’t Settle Without Car Accident Attorney

A first settlement offer from an insurance company usually isn’t large enough to cover all of your current financial needs, much less future ones. Don’t give in to the temptation to take it.

There are many factors that will influence the amount you and your family need. Insurance settlements are unknown until all the facts reveal themselves. Insurance companies may try to tell you otherwise, demanding you should take their word for what other car accident victims have received in other accidents.

Now you know better.

Your situation is unique. You or your loved one’s injuries are not the same as anyone else’s. Your medical expenses and needs will differ. The right settlement must reflect the circumstances surrounding—and resulting from—your specific accident.

Stand firm and know that turning down the first offer you get is a smart move. Contacting the experienced car accident attorneys at Paternoster Law Group is your next smart move. We have years of experience representing clients in negotiations with insurance companies, and have won over $100 Million in settlements and cases. While there can never be a guarantee of how a negotiation will turn out, we have succeeded in recovering substantial insurance settlements on behalf of many of our other car accident clients.

Call Paternoster Law Group for Help After Your Car Accident

At Paternoster Law Group, we believe that no Las Vegas driver, or any driver who visits from another state, should accept an insurance settlement without talking to a qualified attorney first. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we know the games insurance companies and uninsured drivers try to play to settle a case quickly for the lowball settlement offer.

Don’t fall for their tricks. You deserve every penny of damages the law allows you to collect. Instead of taking a quick settlement, call our team at Paternoster Law Group Personal Injury Lawyers at 702-654-1111 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We are conveniently located in Las Vegas and can schedule meetings in person at our office, wherever you are, or via tele-conference. The sooner you meet with us, the better your chances of preserving your rights to recover the compensation you deserve.

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