Should I accept an insurance settlement after a crash?

In the aftermath of a severe car crash, you can be struggling with unanswered questions, pain and property damage. In these situations, accident victims often rely on their insurance company to tell them what to do.

However, insurance companies do not necessarily have your best interests at heart; they are businesses. And as such, it can be wise to think carefully and consider the following details before accepting an insurance settlement after a serious car accident.

You may not know all the damage yet

Filing a report with your insurance company right away is crucial. However, you may not know all the damage until much later.

Many types of injuries are not immediately evident after an accident. These include:

  • Internal damage
  • Chronic pain
  • Brain injuries
  • Back and neck pain
  • Concussion symptoms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

These injuries can be disruptive and painful, but they can take days or even weeks to become apparent. Thus, rushing to accept a settlement can mean it will not cover all your injuries.

It may not be enough

Settlement offers do not always reflect the full extent of damage a person experiences in a crash. They may not cover damages like emotional distress or the entirety of a person’s lost income if their injuries prevent them from working.

And depending on the amount of coverage you have, your expenses could exceed what the insurance companies must pay out.

The insurance company could be wrong

Insurance companies could wrongfully deny coverage or pay less than you may deserve. They might claim you could have avoided the accident or that you have not paid your premiums.

However, insurance companies can be wrong; when they are, injured parties can pay the price.

For all these reasons, it can be wise to think carefully before accepting an insurance settlement. If you are not sure about whether it is fair or not, you can consult a lawyer.

Car accidents can do incredible immediate and long-term damage. Should this happen, you should be able to collect the financial remedies you deserve to help you recover.

Don’t underestimate emotional distress after a severe accident

A severe accident can leave a person struggling with immense pain and mobility issues. These physical damages can prove to be devastating when they compromise a person’s independence and lifestyle.

But too often, people focus on treating and recovering from physical injuries and fail to recognize the extent of emotional damages and distress victims experience.

What is emotional distress?

Emotional distress or mental anguish refers to the psychological and mental conditions that often coincide with a traumatic event.

The conditions vary widely based on the individual and type of accident, but some of the most common types of mental and emotional injuries include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Changes in personality
  • Grief
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood disorders

Too often, people overlook or minimize these symptoms because they cannot see them. Thus, victims may not seek medical treatment or support. Further, loved ones may not understand the extent to which the victim is suffering.

The considerable impact of these injuries

The unfortunate fact is that these emotional and mental health injuries are common, and they can turn a person’s life upside down. They could:

  • Strain personal relationships
  • Make it impossible for a person to work
  • Prevent a person from living independently
  • Create or exacerbate financial challenges
  • Make physical injuries worse

People could also have trouble sleeping and concentrating; some struggle with drug or alcohol abuse as a means of coping, all of which can make it impossible for someone to live their life as they did before an accident.

Recognizing that these emotional damages can be serious is a crucial first step in getting the care and attention necessary to recover.

Understanding treatment options

There are myriad options when it comes to mental health treatment. Possible remedies can include:

  • Counselling
  • Medication
  • Practicing self-care
  • Making changes to diet or lifestyle

Whether these measures are self-directed or involve a team of medical professionals, they can ensure victims and their loved ones take a holistic approach to recovery after severe accident.

There is no benefit to downplaying or ignoring the emotional toll that a traumatic event has on victims and families. Addressing the emotional damages can improve the recovery process and ensure parties receive the comprehensive support they deserve.

4 factors that increase the risk of injury or fatality in a crash

No one wants to get in a car accident. Unfortunately, most drivers do something every time they get behind the wheel that puts them at an increased risk of getting into this very situation, even if they do not realize it.

Statistics from Transport Canada’s National Collision Database reveal the various factors that can put one person at a higher risk of severe injury or fatality than someone else.

Factors that increase the risk of serious, fatal injuries in a crash

  • Your age – More people over the age of 65 died in crashes in 2018 than drivers in every other age group. However, people between the age of 25-34 suffered the most injuries. These numbers suggest that older populations can experience worse injuries, while young adults are more likely to get in a crash but recover.
  • Where you are driving – Statistics show that there were more collisions resulting in personal injury in urban or metropolitan settings, but a higher number of fatalities in rural settings. This is likely because parties are driving slower in congested, urban areas and travelling over 60 km/h on rural roads and highways. Further, the province in which you are driving could affect your risk of fatality or injury. Yukon Territory has the highest rate of fatal crashes based on population, while Manitoba and Nova Scotia have the highest rates of injury-causing accidents.
  • Your road user class – Drivers suffer more fatalities and injuries than any other road user, followed by passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists.
  • Your driving habits – Your own driving habits can increase your risk of getting hurt or killed in a crash. If you drive while drunk or drugged, if you drive while distracted, or if you drive while you are exhausted, you make it more likely that you will get into an accident. Further, if you do not wear a seat belt in the car, you increase your exposure to worse injuries.

Before you head out on the road, consider these factors that put people at a higher risk of severe injuries or fatalities in a motor vehicle accident. With this information, you can make decisions behind the wheel that protect you, your passengers and others sharing the road with you.