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When to Accept Insurance Settlement and When to Sue

Insurance companies are involved in nearly every auto accident. Often times, if the other driver was responsible for your injuries, his or her insurance company will make a settlement offer with you. It is often difficult for auto accident victims to know whether to accept the insurance company's settlement offer or to file a personal injury lawsuit. The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish focus on helping auto accident victims obtain the financial recovery that they deserve and we can help you determine whether you should accept an insurance settlement or take legal action. You should always consult with an auto accident lawyer before accepting an insurance settlement, but the following are some things to consider in making the decision:

  • Have you accounted for all past, current, and future costs, including medical bills, physical therapy, and any lost wages? Your medical bills and medical records will help account for past and current damages, but your doctor should be consulted for information on your prognosis and any future care and treatment that you might need. An insurance settlement should include these costs and, if it does not, you may want to consider a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Does the defendant have adequate assets to pay a judgment that exceeds the policy limit? Insurance company settlements are restricted to their policy limits. If the defendant has assets to cover a potential judgment beyond the insurance settlement, you may want to consider a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Were you a pedestrian or bicyclists injured by a motorist? Insurance settlements sometimes favor a pedestrian or bicyclist, assuming that he or she was negligibly responsible for the accident.
  • Do you need the settlement money now or can you wait? Insurance settlement proceeds are often received more quickly than a judgment or settlement that is obtained through a personal injury lawsuit because it does not need to move through the court system.
  • Are issues of comparative negligence involved? Even if you were partially responsible for the auto accident, you may still be able to obtain financial recovery if your fault was less than 50%. Insurance companies may use your partial responsibility to deny or reduce an offered settlement, however, in which case you should enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer to advocate on your behalf in a court of law.
  • Were multiple parties involved? Multi-vehicle accidents often involve complex legal and factual issues. Many times insurance companies will point the finger at each other in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the amount that they have to pay out. If this is the case, you may want to take legal action so that the disputes can be sorted out in a court of law.
  • Were you injured while on the job? Workers who are injured in an on-the-job car accident are generally entitled to workers' compensation benefits to be paid by the employer's insurance company. A workers' compensation settlement does not, however, eliminate the injured worker's right to pursue legal action against any responsible third parties, such as another motorist or the auto manufacturer.

If you were injured in a car accident, it is highly recommended that you consult with a skilled Chicago auto accident attorney. The Chicago accident and injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are dedicated to helping accident and injury victims obtain maximum financial recovery from all possible sources following a car accident and we can help you decide whether it makes sense to accept an insurance settlement or take legal action. Contact our office at (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.     Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.
 

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