You generally cannot file a lawsuit if you have already accepted a settlement offer after a car accident. By accepting a settlement, you release the insurance company (and at-fault parties it represents) from financial responsibility for your car accident.
There are rare exceptions to this rule. Therefore, you may want to consider speaking to a personal injury law firm even if you have already accepted a settlement offer. However, if you have yet to accept a settlement, avoid doing so before talking with a Dallas car accident lawyer.
Take These Steps Before Accepting a Car Accident Settlement
In most cases, car accident victims have one opportunity to obtain the compensation they deserve. Once you settle your case, you typically close the chapter on your post-accident financial recovery. Therefore, you must take several precautions before signing any settlement agreement.
Before accepting a settlement (either verbally or in writing), you may hire a car accident attorney, who will:
Advise You to Undergo a Thorough Medical Examination
While your personal injury lawyer will handle every aspect of your claim or lawsuit, there are certain steps you will need to take. Your attorney can refer you to a qualified medical professional for a complete medical examination, which may include:
- A non-invasive physical examination
- Medical imaging, including but not limited to X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans
- Vision and hearing tests
- A formal diagnosis for any accident-related injuries
- A treatment plan, which you should follow down to the smallest detail
Your attorney will obtain all documentation of your medical care, including images of injuries, written diagnoses, and bills.
Review All Insurance Policies Related to Your Car Accident
Insurance companies (and the policies they issue) play a central role in most car accident cases. You will likely seek compensation from an insurance company, and the details of insurance policies may dictate:
- What types of losses you should receive compensation for (such as vehicle repairs, medical services, and lost income)
- Who pays for your accident-related losses
- How much compensation the insurance company is obligated to provide
An insurer may cite the details of a policy as a reason not to pay you fairly. Your personal injury lawyer will analyze the policy down to the smallest detail. This knowledge of all applicable policies will allow us to negotiate confidently on your behalf.
Calculate the Cost of Your Accident-Related Damages
To negotiate a fair settlement, your personal injury attorney must know the exact cost of the damages you suffered in your car accident. Calculating damages can be difficult, as injuries often cause long-term symptoms. We must project the cost of any future damages, and we must also calculate the cost of non-economic damages (like pain and suffering).
Our team knows how to calculate your damages accurately. This is one of the many benefits of hiring personal injury lawyers with a lengthy track record of success.
Identify All of Your Options for Seeking Compensation
Car accident victims generally have two options for seeking a financial recovery, which are:
- Accident lawsuit against the at-fault party
- Insurance claims
Several factors—including the cost of your damages, coverage limits, and the outcome of settlement negotiations—will determine which option is right for you. Our firm simply identifies the option that is best for our client, and that is the path we will recommend to you.
Pursue the Financial Recovery You Deserve
Once we agree on a course of action for your case, our team will fight for the settlement or judgment you deserve. This typically requires us to:
- Secure and organize all evidence proving who caused the car accident
- Document (prove) each of your accident-related damages
- Engage insurance representatives in settlement negotiations
- Fight any attempts by insurers to pay less than you deserve
- Take your case to court, if necessary
We are a full-service law firm with a singular mission. We intend to obtain the fair compensation you are entitled to.
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What Losses or Damages Should a Car Accident Settlement Cover?
Each car accident victim has a different set of recoverable damages. Seemingly minor accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, and some car accidents even cause wrongful deaths. We will evaluate your damages and determine the cost of:
- Property damage expenses: These may include the cost of repairing your vehicle or replacing a vehicle that suffered total damage. We will also consider temporary transportation expenses, the cost of replacing clothing and other personal property, and damage to your cell phone and other electronics.
- Medical bills: We will consider whether you rode in an ambulance, received emergency care, were hospitalized, needed medication, visited one or more doctors, underwent medical imaging, or received any other medical services. Our team will calculate the cost of all your current and future medical expenses.
- Non-economic damages: Our firm frequently works with mental health professionals. These experts help us identify post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other types of mental anguish affecting our clients. You can also seek compensation for physical pain and suffering.
- Professional harm: You should receive compensation covering lost income, diminished earning power, lost promotions and bonuses, and any other professional damages related to your car accident.
- A loved one’s wrongful death: Our team offers its condolences if you have lost a loved one. We will fight relentlessly to get justice for your loss. A fair settlement may cover funeral costs, loss of consortium, lost financial support, and the many other damages resulting from a wrongful death.
Your auto accident attorney will speak with you and your loved ones, communicate with expert witnesses, and take any other necessary measures to identify and calculate your damages. We can determine whether an offer is appropriate before you sign a settlement agreement.
Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins Today for a Free Consultation About Your Car Accident Case
Do not wait to contact our team, who is always available to speak with you about your accident claim 24/7. When you call, a member of our team can answer any questions you have, offer legal advice, and recommend how to proceed with your case.
Call calling Loncar Lyon Jenkins today for your free initial consultation.