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How to Know If You’re Getting a Good Settlement Offer for a Car Accident

what is a good settlement offer for a car accident

You’re sitting across the table from the insurance adjuster, nursing injuries from your recent car accident. They slide a settlement offer your way, throwing around words like “fair” and “final.” But how can you tell if it’s actually a good deal or just a lowball trying to get you out the door?

Before you sign on the dotted line, take a moment to really evaluate things. Getting stuck with an insulting settlement means you could be on the hook for medical bills, lost wages, and more down the road. Making sense of these offers is difficult, but knowing what to look for can help ensure you get every penny you deserve.

What is The Average Settlement for a Car Accident Claim?

There is no true “average settlement” for a car accident claim—it is solely dependent on the circumstances of your case, like your injuries, insurance coverage, medical costs, etc. Be wary of adjusters and attorneys who give you a blanket number—you may be leaving money on the table.

For instance, parking lot fender benders may yield a few hundred dollars, while accidents resulting in a significant injury could mean a payout of a few hundred thousand or more. At Pickford Law, we have helped car accident victims secure multi-figure settlements for their injuries in Memphis.

But even past injury case results only go so far in indicating what your settlement amount will be. Your specific accident and damage details will determine how much your case is worth. The best way to get a full picture of your potential claim is by contacting our personal injury team for a free case evaluation.

What to Ask for in a Car Accident Settlement

When negotiating a car accident settlement in Tennessee, consider all the damages and losses you’ve suffered due to the incident. A fair settlement should compensate you for economic and non-economic damages, ensuring you’re not left bearing the financial burden caused by someone else’s negligence.

Here are some key elements to ask for in your Tennessee car accident settlement:

  • Medical Bills — Seek compensation for all medical bills related to the accident, including emergency room visits, including the physician and radiology bills, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, and ongoing treatment such as physical therapy or rehabilitation.
  • Future Medical Costs — If your injuries require long-term treatment or care, your settlement should account for these anticipated medical expenses.
  • Lost Wages — If you missed work due to the accident or your injuries, request compensation for your lost income during this time.
  • Reduced Earning Capacity — If your injuries have impacted your ability to work or have forced you to take a lower-paying job, seek compensation for the difference in your earning capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering — Tennessee law allows you to request compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish you’ve experienced due to the accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life — If your injuries have prevented you from participating in activities you once enjoyed, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss of enjoyment.
  • Property Damage — Don’t forget to include the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses — Keep track of any accident-related expenses, such as transportation costs to medical appointments, home modifications to accommodate your injuries, or hiring help for tasks you can no longer perform.
  • Loss of Consortium — If you’re married or in a relationship, your settlement may include compensation for the impact of your injuries on your marital relationship. This can cover the loss of companionship, affection, and support that your spouse experiences due to your injuries

When calculating your settlement demand, working with an experienced Tennessee car accident attorney who can help you assess the full extent of your damages and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf is crucial.

Remember, the insurance company’s initial settlement offer is often far lower than what you deserve, so be prepared to negotiate and fight for a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.

The Only Way To Know If You’re Getting a Good Settlement Offer is to Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

Never agree to a personal injury settlement or sign a release without talking to a professional. You wouldn’t buy a house without consulting your realtor, this transaction is just as important. Once you sign a settlement agreement, there’s no going back. You can never request additional compensation or file another lawsuit. If your injuries worsen or you incur additional expenses, you are out of luck.

An attorney who focuses on car accidents understands the true value of your claim and can protect you from lowball offers. Your lawyer will thoroughly evaluate the settlement based on the severity of your injuries, long-term impacts, and their expertise in similar cases.

They can make sure that your settlement:

  • Covers all of your damages, including your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more
  • Considers future expenses like ongoing treatment and future complications
  • Aligns with similar cases, including cases involving similar injuries and accident types

If the initial offer is inadequate, your attorney will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to push for the maximum compensation you deserve. With legal representation, you significantly increase your chances of a fair settlement.

Never Settle for The First Car Accident Settlement Offer

While accepting this first offer and putting the whole thing behind you may be tempting, this is rarely in your best interest. Insurance companies often begin with a lowball offer, hoping you’ll accept it without questioning its fairness or considering the long-term implications.

At this early stage, you may not yet have a clear picture of the full extent of your damages, including future medical expenses, lost wages, and the impact on your quality of life. Settling too quickly could leave you without the necessary funds to cover these costs.

Again, once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot pursue further compensation related to the accident. So, it’s essential to take the time to carefully evaluate any offer and consult a car accident lawyer before deciding. By advocating for your rights and working towards a fair settlement, you can protect your financial future and focus on your recovery.

Maximize Your Car Accident Settlement with Pickford Law

It is hard enough to negotiate with the insurance company when you haven’t been recently injured in a car accident. Going through the settlement negotiations process alone is neither easy nor advisable. With an experienced personal injury attorney, navigating the process and benefiting from a fair settlement offer is much easier.

At Pickford Law, we have helped many people who have been injured in an accident negotiate a higher settlement. Contact us today to set up a free consultation. We will review your case and develop a strategy to help you acquire settlement money that accurately reflects your injuries.

Author Bio

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford is a highly skilled attorney and the founder of Pickford Law. Her legal practice is committed to representing clients on various legal matters, including social security disability, veterans’ disability, estate planning, and personal injury. With over ten years of experience in law and a license to practice in Tennessee and Arkansas, Shalondra is committed to providing personalized and effective legal representation to each client.

Shalondra received her Juris Doctorate from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is a member of the Tennessee and Arkansas State Bar Associations. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the exclusive Rising Stars award from Super Lawyers in 2017 and again in 2022.

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