5 Things You Should Know Before You Settle Your Accident Benefit Claim

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Are you thinking about resolving your accident benefit case?

If you are representing yourself on your motor vehicle accident file, or even just looking after your own accident benefit claim, the insurance adjuster may approach you to discuss settling your accident benefit claim.

Many claimants in the Greater Toronto Area settle their accident benefit claim for an amount that is not enough for their needs or for what they should get under their policy.  Many people who are not lawyers and who do not work in the insurance industry have no way of knowing what the total settlement amount the insurer could possibly payout.

Do you want to have all the information before settling?  Of course you do! 

Before you settle your claim, make sure you understand the following five tips:

  • First, Income Replacement Benefits continue beyond the 2-year anniversary of your collision if you still can’t work. Many people think the insurance company only has to pay income replacement for two years.  This is incorrect!
  • Second, ask if you are eligible to apply for catastrophic benefits. If your accident benefit claim is still open and you are not working and still suffering serious symptoms from your collision, you should consider requesting a consultation with a lawyer.  The process to apply for catastrophic benefits is not easy and there is a lot at stake.
  • Third, if you under-settle your Accident Benefit claim, it can cause problems in your lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.  The insurance company for the at-fault driver may try to reduce what you could have or should have received from the accident benefit insurer from your compensation.
  • Fourth, did you know that any settlement you are offered by the accident benefit adjuster is negotiable? You should ALWAYS make a counteroffer, even if the adjuster says it is a final offer.
  • Fifth, the insurance company will evaluate your burn rate when assessing settlement amounts.  The burn rate is the speed at which you are consuming benefits.  What that means is the insurance company will assess how much money from the total policy limits you have used each year since your accident on medical rehabilitation expenses.  The insurance company will use the average of those numbers to predict your future expenses.  You should find out from the insurer what the burn rate is before you begin your negotiations.
  • Bonus: Settlement is virtually always final after a 48-hour cooling-off point. In most situations, after you settle your accident benefit claim, you cannot go back to ask for more money….so make sure the deal you negotiate is a deal that is good for you!

If you or someone you love is looking to settle their accident benefits claim and but would like to speak to a lawyer first, contact us 416 445 3529. Or fill out our handy contact form to request a callback.

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