Understanding Insurance Settlements
Settling your insurance claim can come with some unwelcome surprises for the unwary. Start with the premise that insurance companies are not charitable organizations, but for profit corporations which have well-designed strategies for paying as little as possible on claims. If you settle an insurance claim without being represented by an attorney, it is always worth having your claim reviewed by an attorney before signing off.
With property claims under a homeowner’s policy or for damage to your car, your lender or mortgage holder may also be named on the check. If you use a local lender this can be easily dealt with. If your lender happens to be in another state, things can get complicated. Depending on the nature of the claim, you may be surprised to learn that all your settlement funds will go directly to the bank. The right attorney may be able to deal with the insurance company or lender so as to maximize your own recovery.
Personal Injury Settlements
- If you have been injured in a car crash and require medical treatment, your medical bills may be paid under the Personal Injury Protection coverage of the car you were riding in. Medical bills may also be paid by your health insurance. If the crash was the fault of another person, the company paying for your medical treatment is usually entitled to be reimbursed from settlement proceeds. For example, if you settle with the insurance company for $25,000, but your own insurance paid $5,000 for your medical treatment, you will receive a check for $20,000.
- There are ways to reduce the amount of reimbursement for your medical care, or even to eliminate it. Insurance companies will rarely disclose that they may not be entitled to reimbursement. You may benefit from the advice of an experienced insurance and personal injury attorney before negotiating or finalizing your settlement. Better yet, retain an attorney early on so all your rights are protected and your case is fully and properly prepared for settlement or litigation when necessary.
- In some cases, the at fault party has no liability insurance, or limits which are not enough to fully compensate you. In such instances, a claim may be brought under the underinsured motorist coverage of your own auto policy. There are some very important legal procedures which must be followed to properly secure your underinsured motorist claim. If your underinsured motorist carrier pays on your claim, they have the right to seek reimbursement from the at fault party. Therefore, it is important not to release the at fault party without first seeking the approval of your underinsured motorist carrier. An experienced insurance and personal injury attorney can help you navigate this process.
- Handling insurance settlements is what the Law Offices of Steve Chance does day in and day out, often assisting other attorneys in such matters. We are happy to assist you achieve the best possible result with your claim.