3 costs to consider before settling a car insurance claim

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Expenses typically begin accruing immediately after a motor vehicle collision. People have to pay to tow their vehicles and repair them. They may need to pay for medical treatment. In some cases, the injuries caused by a car crash can lead to lost wages or a permanent reduction in an individual’s earning potential.

Thankfully, liability insurance coverage helps reimburse those financially affected by car wrecks. The person at fault for the crash provides coverage for the other people involved. Insurance companies frequently offer settlements as a way to quickly resolve collision-related claims. However, those attempting to overcome the financial setbacks of a recent collision may need to evaluate several concerns, including the following, very carefully before agreeing to an insurance settlement.

Diminished vehicle value

It is often a relief to learn that a vehicle is eligible for repair instead of being unsafe to drive after a crash. Replacing a total vehicle can be a very daunting prospect. Most people understand that insurance can pay for repair costs and towing expenses. What they may fail to consider is the diminished value of the vehicle when they sell it or use it as a trade-in later. Establishing how the collision may affect the value of the vehicle in the future can help someone seek more comprehensive compensation.

Future medical expenses

Crash injuries often require emergency trauma care followed by ongoing support. Those injured in collisions need to consider what future expenses they may incur, not just the outstanding medical bills for their prior treatment. People may need to take prescriptions to manage muscular tension and pain for months after a car crash. They may require surgery in some cases. There could also be physical therapy in their future, which can be quite expensive. People need to factor in the lifetime medical cost of their injuries when settling an insurance claim.

Lost income

Anyone with injuries stemming from a crash may miss work while they undergo treatment. Those with more serious injuries may find that their earning potential drops after a collision. Catastrophic injuries that create functional limitations can permanently reduce someone’s income. The change in their salary and the days of work they missed are only part of the equation. People also have to consider workplace benefits, future promotions and future raises to estimate the career implications of their injuries.

Many people find it difficult to establish a reasonable estimate for collision costs and even harder to negotiate with insurance companies. Countering a low settlement offer can help people receive more appropriate amounts of compensation after motor vehicle collisions. Those who have an idea of what their crash could cost can potentially recognize when a settlement offer is too low.