Can You Negotiate Your Own Car Accident Settlement in Massachusetts?
Following a car accident, the responsible party could be held liable for any damages and injuries the injured plaintiff has. There are many issues that a person might encounter when negotiating a settlement. It is best to seek help from a skilled car accident attorney to determine if you are eligible to seek compensation for damages.
Speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to determine which type of damages you may be eligible to recover and learn about the issues in negotiating a Boston car accident settlement.
Common Issues When Negotiating a Settlement
There are a few issues in negotiating a Boston car accident settlement. First, there will be issues of negligence in the analysis of the insurance company negotiating on the part of the reckless driver. If there is an issue of comparative negligence or the negligence of the injured person, it is going to affect the amount of the settlement.
Another issue that a person may encounter is pre-existing conditions. For example, if the injured person is claiming that they injured their back as a result of the accident and in their medical history, it shows that they had a long-standing back condition before the car accident happened then that is going to be an issue. The courts will look at the extent of the injuries and if the car accident aggravated or worsened the pre-existing back pain.
If there are issues of pre-existing arthritis or degenerative changes, that is going to be an issue during the settlement. The extent of the injured claimant’s complaints and medical treatment related to the trauma that they sustained or aggravation of any pre-existing condition will be looked at while negotiating a settlement.
Medical Bills and Health Insurance
Other issues in negotiating a Boston car accident settlement may be unpaid medical bills because medical coverage through the auto policy has been exhausted or the health insurance does not pay.
Another issue would be liens for health insurance, Medicaid which, in Massachusetts, is referred to as MassHealth, or Medicare itself. Sometimes, that person might be a veteran and receive medical treatment through the VA (the Veterans’ Administration). If that is the case, then the injured claimant’s Boston car accident attorney has to be in contact with the VA to determine how much their medical bills are, and they would have a lien that needs to be addressed and see if there is any way to reduce the amount through negotiation.
Complications and Delayed Settlements
These issues delay someone receiving their settlement. In situations involving liens or potential liens, there might be a situation where the insurance company for the defendant may suspect or may need to determine whether or not, for example, Medicare paid anything, so it is going to delay the settlement because it takes time to confirm with Medicare.
The best way to limit any delay is to put Medicare, MassHealth, VA, and health insurers on notice early on in the claims process so that when parties are getting down to the wire, negotiating a settlement, and reaching an agreement, they already have responses.
A seasoned attorney will have a contact that they can follow up and streamline the process to get to the final amount or get to the final determination. In some cases, there is no money owed, but those are the things that can delay the process as far as receiving the settlement amount or settlement money once the amount has been agreed to.
How a Car Accident Attorney Could Help
When considering settling their claim, people need to be aware of taxes. According to the Internal Revenue Code, any settlement for a personal injury resulting from any accident including car collisions is tax-free. They need to consider what the alternatives are, what the risks are in going to trial, and have confidence that they are making the right decision.
Oftentimes, people have a lot of outside pressures that are being asserted on them either through a spouse, family members, or friends that have opinions about everything under the sun including how their case should proceed and whether or not a settlement is a good settlement or not. The only person who has an informed opinion is the injured claimant’s car accident attorney, and they really should consider and give the greatest weight to the recommendations and the legal advice that they are receiving from their attorney.
Speak to a skilled attorney to learn about the issues in negotiating a Boston car accident settlement. Call today to schedule a consultation.