Pedestrians hit by automobiles often have the same question; should I just settle with the insurance company or is there a smarter option? While this may seem to be a simple question, the ramifications are tremendous. Unfortunately, insurance companies have built a sturdy business model by making their offers seem far more lucrative than they are. Choosing to settle with an insurance company can mean a decision to go into debt.
More often than not, the answer is to hire a personal injury attorney to represent your legal rights and pursue who is responsible for your injuries. A personal injury attorney has the experience to recognize the many and varied tricks insurance agents use to give accident victims lower settlements. Insurance agents can confuse the issues surrounding a pedestrian accident to the point where a victim will settle for a considerably lower amount than they should have.
Insurance companies don’t like to give settlements to pedestrians involved in accidents and may refuse. They use any excuse possible to infer the pedestrian was at fault. If the pedestrian was drinking, for instance, the insurance company will say he or she was drunk and caused the accident.
When they do decide to offer a settlement it may be offered in a condescending manner with phrases like “we just want to do the right thing” and “this generous offer” to imply that the victim is getting more than they deserve. Pretty sneaky, right?
An attorney will review any settlement deal the insurance agency draws up and make sure that it covers the costs of all medical bills, pain, suffering, any loss of wages, emotional distress and costs of rehabilitation. Some victims may also need to be reimbursed for loss of quality of life depending upon the circumstances of the accident.
Being hit by a car is a big deal. Insurance companies may not feel the same way but their job is to save money, not to help victims. Pedestrians hit by a vehicle can endure serious damage and even paralysis and death. These types of extensive injuries cost money to recover from and even lesser injuries can be extremely costly.
Settling with what the insurance agency offers is rarely enough to cover the entire cost of being hit by a car.