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After an automobile accident, insurance companies often attempt to offer accident victims a quick settlement. This settlement is an attempt to minimize their client’s liability and protect their assets. Unfortunately, these settlements are usually only a fraction of what you deserve. In addition, if your injuries become chronic or lead to permanent disabilities, you may find yourself unable to pay for all of your medical treatments and expenses. Before you agree to a settlement with an insurance company, you must first understand the different ways your settlement can be reached and how they can affect the outcome of your dispute.
Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution where an independent third party makes a determination regarding resolution. Both insurance companies (and consequently, both clients) agree to be bound by the arbiter’s determination. One disadvantage to binding arbitration is that you will no longer be able to go to court to get a better outcome – the arbiter’s decision is final.
Sometimes, mediation is used to settle differences. Mediation is a more informal, non-binding resolution. A mediator will examine all the facts of the case, help both parties come to an agreement regarding compensation and damages. Unlike binding arbitration, mediation itself is generally not binding. You will still have the ability to go to court to ensure that you get the money you deserve for your injuries.
A settlement is the amount of compensation both parties have agreed to. Adequate and fair settlements should take into consideration all injuries, damages and any long term effects the victim may face. If an insurance company suggests a settlement, be aware that you will then have no legal recourse in court to receive additional compensation. You will not be able to reopen your claim against the insurance company once a settlement agreement is signed.
If you or a loved one is involved in an automobile accident (through no fault of your own), it is important to contact a Colorado personal injury attorney BEFORE an insurance company suggests arbitration, mediation or settlement of your case. Aggressive legal representation is the best way to achieve the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Denver and Aurora Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Denver car accident lawyer John R. Fuller today. The Denver personal injury attorney you select often makes the difference between a settlement that favors the insurance company and a settlement or verdict that is fair and meets your needs.
Our Colorado personal injury law firm has the experience to know when our clients are being treated fairly and will respond accordingly. Contact John R. Fuller, P.C., for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
We’re available 24/7 by phone, fax and e-mail. We return after-hours calls promptly, and provide interpreters for our Spanish-speaking clients.
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