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What happens when you have more bills after a crash settlement?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Car Accidents

In the early days after your car crash, everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. The other driver took responsibility for the wreck and was honest with the police about their mistakes at the wheel. You received medical treatment and filed a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.

You received a settlement offer that would just barely cover your existing medical bills and the estimate to repair your vehicle. You happily accepted the settlement, expecting to move on with your life with perhaps a few minor medical expenses ending up your responsibility later.

However, the symptoms from your injury have not fully resolved. The doctor overseeing your care has advised you that you will likely require surgery to reduce your pain levels and regain function and strength in the affected body part. Can you get more support from insurance because you have additional bills?

A settlement usually ends insurance liability

One of the reasons that insurance companies are so eager to offer lump-sum settlements after car crashes is that settlements can potentially save them money. You typically have to sign an agreement absolving them of responsibility for any future losses in exchange for that settlement payment.

You usually do not have the right to bring another claim against the insurance company even if you settled for an amount far below the policy limit. If the settlement was obviously inappropriate given the extent of your injuries, you may have grounds to bring a bad faith insurance claim against the company. Otherwise, you may need to look into other options for covering your costs.

What alternatives may help after a low settlement?

Sometimes, you have protection on your own policy that you can utilize when you can no longer make a claim against the other driver’s coverage. Other times, you may need to look into a personal injury lawsuit. The other driver or a third party could help cover those additional expenses.

The bigger the gap between the settlement you accepted and your actual costs related to the crash, the more important it will be to look into alternative means of paying your bills. Learning more about your rights after a motor vehicle collision will help you cover your costs and move on with your life.