5 Things you should know before you settle your accident benefit claim

If you are handling your car accident case on your own, or even just your accident benefit claim on your own, there will likely come a time when the insurance company approaches you to settle your claim.

Many, many Ontario residents settle their accident benefit claim for too little.  The main reason for this is that you really have no way of knowing what the total amount the insurer could potentially owe you.

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

  • Income Replacement Benefits do not end after 2 years if you continue to be unable to work at all.  Many people believe the insurer only has to pay for the first two years.  This is not true!
  • After 2 years you may be able to apply for catastrophic benefits if you haven’t already settled your claim.  If you are not working and still suffering serious consequences from your accident, you really should consider speaking to a lawyer.  The process for applying for catastrophic benefits is complicated.
  • If you settle your Accident Benefit claim for too little, it can hurt your damages law suit.  The insurance company may be entitled to deduct what you could have or should have received from the accident benefit insurer.
  • Some people don’t realize that any settlement offered by the accident benefit insurer is negotiable.  You should ALWAYS counter-offer, even if they tell you the offer is final.
  • The insurance company will consider your burn rate when assessing the value of your settlement.   What that means is they will look at how much you have spent each year on medical rehabilitation and then use the average of those numbers to predict your future expenses.  You should find out from the insurer what the burn right is.

In most cases, after you settle your accident benefit case, you cannot go back to ask for more money….so make sure the deal you strike is a deal that is fair to you!

For help with your accident benefit case, call the experienced personal injury lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth Professional Corporation.  We can be reached at 613 233-4529.


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