Launching Legal Action Following An Accident

Should You Accept a Settlement Offer from the State Government When Injured in a Car Accident?

When you're involved in an accident and are not responsible in any way, you may feel justifiably aggrieved. You may not be able to believe that the other party was so negligent and that this has caused you so much upset, worry and pain. Also, you may be anxious to get back to your normal life and try to put everything behind you. This feeling of impatience is not unusual in your situation, but you should exercise some caution and not make any hasty decisions when it comes to compensation. So, what should you do if you receive an offer from the insurance commission?

Regulatory Authorities

In Australia, states or territories have an insurance regulatory authority whose job is to handle compensation in situations like this. These commissions work on car accident compensation, workers' compensation and other areas and are meant to be independent of any involved individual.

Exercise Caution

Because they are a government entity, some people believe that these authorities will automatically "do things the right way" and tend to side with the aggrieved individual. Yet it's important to look at the big picture before agreeing to any offer of settlement and never accept the first letter as final.

Look to the Future

When you sustain injuries in an accident, it's important to get the best medical care possible. These professionals not only deal with the current repercussions but will also advise you about the future. In some situations, you may need to deal with pain, restriction or inconvenience for a considerable time into the future, which may affect your earning capacity and expenditure. Occasionally, people can suffer mental anguish and post-traumatic stress disorder, which can be very difficult to diagnose or treat. Consequently, it is important to analyse the situation in the cold light of day and not rush to accept any initial offer. Again, many people may be tempted as the authority is dangling a tempting carrot, but caution is advised.

Your Best Approach

Should you accept an initial offer, you will be signing away your rights to any further action. You won't be able to pursue a third party for any additional compensation should you uncover further injuries or other inconveniences. Instead, you should contact a qualified lawyer who can act on your behalf. They will certainly consider the offer from the authority, but they will always work in your best interests and take further action if necessary.

For more information, contact a lawyer near you.