How quickly should I settle my car accident case with an insurance company?

Many people who have been the victim in a car accident will receive a phone call from the at-fault driver’s insurance company within a few weeks or months of the collision with an offer to settle their claim. While it is certainly tempting to take a quick settlement and put the whole affair behind you, but be aware that it is far too easy to settle for too little, too soon.

A settlement in the context of a car wreck is, or should be, intended to make the victim “whole” again.  When you settle your case immediately, how can we know what that means until we know the extent of the damage? The simple answer is – you can’t.

Until the victim of a car crash has fully recovered, or recovered as much as he or she is expected to, we can’t know the full extent of the personal injury sustained. That point in a person’s medical recovery is referred to as “Maximum Medical Improvement.”

A common example of where premature settlement may occur is in a relatively low energy car crash resulting in a concussion. Liability insurance carriers will often try to push you to settle within a month or two of the injury, but post-concussion syndrome, a mild form of traumatic brain injury, can have effects lasting up to and beyond one year.  The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:

 Headache
 Dizziness
 Vertigo
 Fatigue
 Memory Problems
 Trouble Concentrating
 Sleeping Problems
 Insomnia
 Restlessness
 Irritability
 Depression
 Anxiety
 Personality Changes
 Sensitivity To Noise And Light

While the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome can vary greatly from person to person, the effects of even one of these symptoms can have a serious impact on your quality of life over time and you deserve to be compensated for that impact.  If you settle your case too early, you will miss out on compensation for damages you didn’t know you had – and will probably never have the opportunity to be made “whole”.

If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another person, the experienced and professional attorneys at Winslow & McCurry, PLLC can help! Call us at (804) 423.1382 to set up a personal injury consultation.