When you receive an insurance settlement for a car accident, it may seem sufficient. For the time, it may cover all related expenses. It may even give the impression of providing long-term compensation - at least long enough for you to recover.
Sadly, most insurance settlements fall short of fair. This is not surprising. Insurance companies have reported remarkable profit increases in recent years. These record-breaking insurance company profits would not be possible if they were actually taking care of victims of serious injury. This is why it makes sense to discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney before you accept an insurance offer. Once you have accepted payment from an insurance company, your hands are tied.
Before you limit your options, give us a call at 314-333-3333 or 618-888-8888 to schedule a free case review where we can help you understand all of your options to make sure you are choosing the best route for your family.
What is the Real Cost of a Car Accident?
According to the National Safety Council, $4.6 million was spent on medical care by people injured in car accidents in 2016. When lost wages and other factors are considered, the total cost of car accidents in the U.S. that year was $416.2 billion.
When an injury is severe, it can result in extended medical care and may require home modifications, adaptive technology, and medical assistance for extended periods of time. Perhaps even forever. Take brain injury as an example. Car accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but a person holding state minimum required insurance coverage will have only $25,000 to work with. The cost of this and similarly devastating injuries far surpasses that meager sum.
According to the National Institutes of Health, emergency medical costs alone (acute treatment) for TBI are:
- Up to $35,954 for mild TBI
- Up to $81,153 for moderate TBI
Long-term care and treatment make this injury even more expensive. According to the report linked above, without rehabilitation, the average yearly cost of TBI is $222,600. Car accident victims who require supervised home care will see an additional $49,688 in yearly costs, while those living in assisted living facilities will need an average of $84,082 per year. And these costs are on top of the average $450,000 in rehabilitation programs typically required for recovery from this injury.
Even a cursory review of those numbers shows just how inadequate an insurance settlement will be for victims of TBI and other serious and life-altering injuries.
Understanding Your Options
You are not required to accept an insurance offer. You are not required to work directly with an insurance company. In fact, it can be in your best interest to defer any insurance inquiries to your car accident attorney. This will help protect you against the tricks these companies use to force settlements before legal action can be taken. Remember, insurance companies are for-profit corporations with stakeholders to keep happy. A company doesn’t set record-breaking profits by spending real money on accident victims.
At Brown & Brown, we stand up for victims of serious injury. We have decades of experience dealing with insurance companies and defense attorneys and know exactly what needs to be done to help our clients secure fair and full compensation. We do not get paid unless you are awarded a settlement or a verdict is returned in your favor - and we will not stop fighting until your case is resolved.
If you live in or around St. Louis and are in need of a car accident attorney, please call 314-444-4444 to schedule a complimentary consultation at Brown & Brown. In the Fairview Heights area of Illinois, call 618-888-8888 for your free consultation.