How to decide whether or not to accept a settlement offer?

I was a passenger in an auto accident last month. I was treated at a hospital for muscle trauma and prescribed medication which I paid for. The insurance has since called after investigating the claims and have determined it will be a “no fault” situation on both parties. They are in the process of paying my medical bills; I had no lost wages as I was already off. The company called and offered me $500 for pain and suffering. However, the lawyer’s office keep sending me mail about filing a lawsuit. Should I accecpt the $500 from the insurance company or file a lawsuit? And if I do file, do I file alone or in conjunction with the driver who was also injured?

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Personal Injury, Indiana


Leigh Anne Timiney / Timiney Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is difficult to judge how much a personal injury claim is worth.  It is usually valued on a combination of all your damages, including your medical bills, lost wages, medications and pain and suffering. Without knowing what your total medical damages are, it is difficult to value your claim.  You are not obligated to accept the insurance company's first offer, or any offer.  Generally, their first few offers will be on the low side.  Ultimately, if you wish to proceed with a lawsuit, you can proceed on your own.  You do not have to file with the other injured party.  Filing a lawsuit should be your last resort.  Lawsuits are expensive and time consuming.  

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