Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

Insurance Your insurance company and the

responsible driver’s insurance company may be attempting to settle the case. Insurance companies are required by law to negotiate settlement of cases in “good faith.” Insurance companies are required to make reasonable offers, although their idea of reasonable and yours may differ. Be sure the offer is based on the maximum allowable for your property damage, medical expenses, lost wages—past, present, and future—and pain and suffering. It is usually not necessary to file a civil suit if you are dealing only with property damage where market value of your vehicle can be easily determined. However, personal injury and death cases are much more complex. Do not settle with an insurance company until you are absolutely certain that all costs associated with the crash are covered. This can take months—even years. Request copies of each settlement offer in writing to avoid confusion and to have proof in the event that you receive conflicting information. Do not sign any settlement agreement or releases until you are absolutely certain of the terms and conditions. You may want to consider paying an attorney just to review the settlement agreement and release, and to explain it to you. It is critical that you are aware of what you’re agreeing to by accepting the insurance

Be sure of what you are signing before you sign.

company’s offer. By signing the release, you sign away any and all claims against the offender forever.


Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker