Fighting For Boston Families For More Than A Decade

Personal Injury 2022
Better Business Bureau Accreditation
Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
Medical Malpractice 2022
Massachusetts Bar Association
Best Lawyers
American Association for Justice
The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40

Five Things to Know About Car Accident Settlement Agreements

The insurance company for the at-fault driver in a car accident case might make a settlement offer. A settlement offer is an agreement to end the dispute. The insurance adjuster offers a specific amount of money to resolve your injury claim.

Before you receive compensation for your car accident claim, the insurance company requires that you sign a settlement agreement and release. The agreement and release impact your legal rights.

It is generally in your best interest to ask a lawyer to review the settlement agreement before you enter into a settlement agreement.

To get help with your car accident settlement, the trusted car accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to assist you in pursuing the maximum possible settlement amount for the losses you have suffered. To get started building your car accident claim, fill out our contact form or call us at (617) 391-9001.

What Is the Boston Car Accident Settlement Process?

After a car accident, you will likely be left with costly expenses as a result of the losses you suffered as a result. Whether you have costly medical bills piling up or property damage, you deserve to be compensated. In order to get financial compensation after a car accident, you must file a car accident claim. Through this claim, your car accident lawyer in Boston can help you through the car accident settlement process.

While the amount you receive for your settlement will be unique to your specific case, there are steps to take throughout the claims process that will help you negotiate a fair settlement. The Boston car accident settlement process goes as follows:

After the Accident

In most cases, the settlement process begins moments after the accident occurs. In order to ensure that you get the necessary evidence needed to build a strong claim, follow these steps:

  • Call the police so that an official accident report can be filed
  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene, any visible injuries, and property damage
  • Get witness statements and their contact information
  • Give your statement of events for the accident report
  • Get the insurance and contact information from the other driver involved
  • Seek medical attention for any injuries and keep any documentation or bills given to you

Once you have been checked by a medical professional for any life-threatening injuries, it is crucial that you contact our trusted car accident lawyers to begin putting your claim together.

Send a Demand Letter

A demand letter is a professional document written by your car accident lawyer that requests compensation or any other demands to correct the opposing party’s faults.

The demand letter, also called the insurance claim letter, will present the facts about the car accident and is meant to persuade the insurance company to pay you the compensation you are owed. This will allow negotiation to begin. 

The insurance provider will likely send you an initial settlement offer that is not fair considering your losses. In this case, the experienced car accident lawyers will negotiate a settlement that is fair.

Once both parties agree on the settlement amount, the decision will be final, and you cannot reopen the claim.

What Is the Average Car Accident Injury Settlement Amount in Massachusetts?

No matter how safe of a driver you may be, a car accident can occur when you least expect it. Unfortunately, not only are car accidents often emotionally scarring to victims, they are also costly. If you have been involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, it is your legal right to file a claim to pursue financial compensation for the losses you have suffered as a result.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, it is your legal right to file a claim to pursue financial compensation for the losses you have suffered as a result. Your compensation is based on the specific details of your case. The details that may indicate how much in damages you can collect include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

While there is no exact answer to how much you can expect from a car accident injury settlement in Massachusetts, your car accident lawyer will calculate the maximum possible amount you are eligible to collect.

Settling a Car Accident Claim Too Early Can Be Costly

The insurance company may offer you a quick settlement for your car accident claim. In some cases, the company may issue an offer before you complete medical treatment for injuries.

Beware of a settlement offer issued before each accident victim completes treatment for their injuries. Until you complete your medical treatment, you cannot know for certain how much your medical bills may be or how much money you might lose from being out of work. Lost wages and medical costs after a car accident can be substantial.

You need to make sure that all financial losses are included in a settlement offer. You cannot know for sure whether you might have permanent impairments from the car wreck until you complete treatment. Settling your claim too early can mean that you lose thousands of dollars in damages you were entitled to receive for your injury claim.

Are Car Accident Settlement Agreements Final?

When you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, the settlement agreement is a final resolution of your claim. After you sign the agreement, you cannot demand more money for your claim. Therefore, make sure that the amount you accept compensates you fully for all your damages. Damages in a car accident case include both economic and non-economic damages.

After you sign the agreement, you cannot demand more money for your claim. Therefore, make sure that the amount you accept compensates you fully for all your damages.

Economic damages are the financial losses incurred because of the accident and your injuries. Your non-economic damages include the pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident, your injuries, and your recovery.

If you are unsure how to calculate the value of your damages, you might want to consult with an insurance claims lawyer before signing the agreement.

Should You Accept the First Settlement Offer?

Insurance companies want to pay the lowest amount possible to resolve your car accident claim. The company is in business to make money. Paying claims hurts the company’s profit margin. Therefore, the insurance company will likely make an offer that is much lower than the value of your injury claim.

The company hopes that you will not be familiar with personal injury claims or how to value damages. It also hopes to settle the claim before you know the full extent of your damages or talk with a personal injury lawyer. Therefore, we recommend you avoid accepting an initial settlement offer.

You Can Make a Counter Offer and Negotiate the Settlement

If you are not happy with the insurance provider’s settlement offer, you can make a counter offer and negotiate a settlement. It is best to make a counter offer for more money than you are willing to accept to settle the claim. Using a higher figure allows you to negotiate if the insurance company rejects your counter offer.

When making a counter offer, make sure to highlight the severity of your injuries, including your pain and suffering. Also, reiterate that the insured is responsible for your pain and suffering.

The deadline to file lawsuits for most car accident claims is three years from the accident date.

However, be aware that the statute of limitations (deadline) for filing a lawsuit can vary, depending on the facts of your case. For example, car accident cases involving minors or government entities have different deadlines. 

Do You Release All Claims and Parties When Signing the Agreement?

The insurance company may not explain that you are releasing all claims and all parties when you sign a car accident settlement agreement. The language of the release could be difficult to understand and buried within a lengthy document.

If you discover that you could have recovered more money by filing a claim against another party or filing an additional claim against the other driver, you are barred from pursuing that claim. Unless there is fraud or other wrongdoing, you are bound by the terms of the agreement.

Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for Your Claim?

Most individuals injured in car accidents benefit by consulting with a lawyer specializing in personal injury law. They learn about their legal rights and their options for recovering maximum compensation for their injuries, damages, and financial losses.

If they hire a lawyer, they benefit from having a legal team on their side to protect their best interests throughout the case.

Contact a Boston Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

When you choose to work with Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, you will have access to a team of award-winning car accident lawyers. Our trusted legal team is led by our experienced co-managing partners, J. Tucker Merrigan and Peter M. Merrigan. J. Tucker Merrigan has been a co-managing partner of the firm for over a decade. He has been recognized for his work in the Massachusetts legal system with awards that include: Under 40, National Trial Lawyers; 2020-2021 Top Attorney Award.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Boston, Massachusetts, our car accident injury firm is ready to help you build a strong claim.  Call our office at (617) 391-9001 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Boston car accident lawyer.