Settlements In A Car Accident In The Myrtle Beach Area

Should You Settle After a Car Accident?

When you file an insurance claim after a car accident, you can resolve your case in one of two ways: take a settlement from the liable party through their insurance carrier or win a verdict in court against the Defendant. Most personal injury cases settle before they ever hit a courtroom, but you can also settle during the trial process. In general, it’s most efficient to settle your Myrtle Beach car accident claim if the offer adequately satisfies your expectations and covers your injury-related damages. However, not every case works out this way.

You may want to have a Myrtle Beach car accident lawyer represent you in a compensation claim. Your attorney will protect your rights, work to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve, and advise you when you should or should not settle your car accident claim.

Ultimately, deciding whether you should settle after a car accident in Myrtle Beach (or anywhere else) depends on your case’s unique circumstances. Below, you’ll find some information about when it’s a good idea to settle, when you should avoid it, and the factors that could influence the decision.

What Is the Purpose of a Settlement?

Settlements In A Car Accident In The Myrtle Beach Area

South Carolina law allows car accident victims to seek damages (i.e., money to cover losses) from the party that caused the collision. With a settlement, both parties mutually agree on an amount that will satisfy the victim’s claim for damages and end the pursuit of compensation from the defendant.

Ideally, your settlement will cover the entirety of your economic and non-economic losses. After all, personal injury law provides the remedy as a way to make victims whole.

However, you may receive a settlement offer below your desired amount if:

  • The insurance company agrees with part of the damages you request and wants to settle that portion of your claim while sorting out the rest.
  • The insurance company doesn’t agree with the amount of money you demand and offers what they feel you deserve.

A Settlement Agreement Is a Contract

A settlement is a contract. The insurance company or defendant agrees to pay you a certain amount in exchange for your ironclad promise not to file any further claims for compensation. Once you sign the settlement agreement and accept the funds, you give up your right to seek further damages.

Bear this in mind as you consider accepting an offer. For example, if you settle your claim and discover you need another surgery to correct a shoulder injury from the accident, you cannot turn to the insurer to cover the cost. Instead, you will bear sole responsibility for paying for the operation unless the settlement contract violates the laws of South Carolina or they find a loophole.

When you violate your settlement agreement, this breach of contract may result in legal action against you.

When Should I Settle After My Myrtle Beach Car Accident?

In certain circumstances, you may want to consider settling. Remember, you don’t always want to go to court to obtain rightful compensation. A jury trial can prove a costly and time-consuming affair, but if it’s necessary, you always have the option. Everyone involved generally prefers reaching a fair settlement out of court.

Some of the situations in which you might want to settle include when:

The Settlement Meets Your Expectations

Your insurance claim will most likely include various economic and non-economic damages. For example, you may have physical injuries that give rise to exorbitant medical expenses, keep you from working, and put an emotional and mental strain on your life.

Additionally, if you had car damage in the wreck or lost other personal property, you should include that in your claim. Altogether, you may have losses into the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Depending on your level of pain and suffering, you could deserve much more. Certain ailments like catastrophic injuries can have a long-term impact on your life and could allow you to demand higher compensation.

With this in mind, if your settlement offer matches, exceeds, or closely resembles the compensation you seek, you may want to settle. That’s an ideal scenario, but your situation may not reflect that. At the least, your settlement should cover the financial losses you incurred, include pain and suffering damages as applicable, and factor in future accident-related expenses. So, you could accept a reasonably fair amount even if it doesn’t look exactly like the amount you demanded.

After You Better Understand Your Prognosis

You should consider a settlement only after you receive a prognosis for your injuries and understand what remaining care you will require to heal.

Every scan, test, operation, doctor’s visit, hospital stay, physical therapy session, and counseling session should be accounted for before you make a claim. You can’t truly know what to demand from the insurance company without knowing how much your injuries will cost in the future. Guessing will most assuredly leave you dissatisfied with the settlement you receive—and paying for expenses your insurance claim should have covered.

You should only settle after starting and completing some treatment in most cases. If you need treatment over the long term or your health problems could recur, your attorney should factor those estimates into your claim.

You Receive a Partial Settlement Offer

You may also consider settling for part of your claim. You could receive a partial settlement offer if you and the insurer agree on the value of certain damages. It won’t bar you from seeking further financial recovery for the remaining portions of your claim as long as any documents you sign or checks you cash do not stipulate that you have a full and final payment or release the Defendant (liable party) in whole.

Having a Myrtle Beach car accident lawyer negotiate and review any settlement agreements will mitigate the risks of falling victim to unfair tactics of the insurance company. You must also ensure that you only agree to a partial settlement for items on your claim that will not require further compensation. For example, accepting a settlement for vehicle damage may work out okay, but accepting a settlement for medical costs would likely prove unwise without proper legal guidance.

Odds of Winning in Court Are Not in Your Favor

If you could bear liability for your damages or you have little evidence against the other driver, you may want to settle your case out of court. However, you must weigh certain evidence and the likelihood that you will receive a trial verdict in your favor. If the outcome does not seem certain, filing a lawsuit may not prove the best choice.

For a case that does not have strong supporting evidence or involves only mild injuries, the insurance company may offer a settlement below what you want but is still more than what you can secure with certainty in court. Again, walking away with something may prove better than leaving with nothing.

The Cost of Going to Trial Is Greater Than the Compensation​

Rejecting a settlement after a car crash in Myrtle Beach generally means you’re prepared to take your claim to court. However, a lawyer can help you think carefully before taking a case to trial. If the cost of litigating a trial exceeds or nearly equals the compensation you would receive after a court award, it’s probably not worth it.

To determine if a lawsuit offers the best course of action, you and your lawyer must consider court costs, incidentals, treatment expenses, the cost of expert witnesses, and other fees.

When Should I Avoid Settling My Myrtle Beach Car Accident Claim?

The decision to settle a case is yours. Neither a judge nor an attorney can force you to settle against your will. Your accident injury lawyer can advise you, but ultimately the choice belongs to you. However, settling may prove the best possible option in certain situations. They include when:

You Get a Low Initial Settlement Offer

Insurance companies often throw out low settlement offers at the beginning of your insurance claim to prey on your vulnerability. They know you need money immediately and probably want to put the accident behind you as quickly as possible. Don’t be fooled by assertions that the insurance adjuster wants to get you paid quickly so you can get back on your feet. They do not advocate for you and do not have your best interest. Avoid initial lowball offers.

The Settlement Is Far Less Than the Value of Your Claim

When a compensation offer falls far below the actual value of your case, you should not settle. You may see this low amount even with a second or third offer. No matter how often the insurer returns with a settlement offer, if you know you’re entitled to more and your losses substantiate a higher payout, hold out. If the insurance company won’t change its tune, it’s probably time to take legal action.

Your car accident lawyer can determine if bringing a lawsuit makes sense for you. Sometimes just the threat of a lawsuit can make the insurance company offer a fair settlement and get you compensation for your car accident. On the other hand, insurers don’t like spending extra money on a trial if it’s not going to profit them in the end.

How Long Will It Take to Settle My Car Accident Claim?

The time it takes to settle your car accident claim in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina depends on the circumstances of your case. It could take anywhere from a few weeks to a year. An attorney can help you understand how your case’s unique factors may speed up or delay the time it takes to see a resolution.

How Much Can I Get in a Car Accident Settlement?

How much you can get for a car accident will vary by case. Your recoverable damages, the evidence of your losses, and the insurance policy limits will all influence your settlement amount.

Generally speaking, the amount you could receive in your case depends on:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The amount of your past, present, and future medical costs
  • To what extent the injuries affected your career and your life
  • Who bears liability for your damages

Car accident victims represented by an attorney could receive a payout that compensates them for all of their damages, such as intangible losses. It can prove challenging for many people to make a strong case for certain damages on their own, such as for their accident-related trauma.

A Myrtle Beach Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Seek a Fair Settlement Offer

One of the big problems you might face when determining if you should settle after a car accident is knowing what a good settlement looks like for you. What amount of damages should you ask for?

To calculate your total damages accurately, you’ll need to gather financial documentation that clearly shows your monetary expenses resulting from the car accident. That may prove easy enough to handle on your own, as you may readily access your bills, receipts, and bank statements. But without a qualified injury attorney, you may need to guess about an adequate amount of compensation for pain and suffering.

An auto accident lawyer in Myrtle Beach will have the financial resources, the knowledge, and the network of experts to properly evaluate your non-financial losses. Your pain and suffering compensation depends on the severity of your injuries, age, health status before the car crash, and recovery prognosis. Additionally, other sources can determine compensation for non-economic losses, such as expert opinions from medical, economic, and life-care professionals.

Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve in Your Car Accident Claim

Jeff Morris, Car Accident Attorney

If you were in a car accident in Myrtle Beach, SC and suffered injuries, you may want to work with an injury lawyer. A car accident lawyer can help you file a claim against the at-fault party for the damages you sustained. Once they know your case, investigate your car accident, assess your complete damages, and submit a demand to the insurance company, your attorney can advise you on whether or not you should settle after your car accident in Myrtle Beach.

A settlement generally offers the ideal resolution. It provides a guaranteed payout and generally proves less stressful, less time-consuming, and more cost-effective than filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. However, if a settlement offer doesn’t reflect your due compensation, a dedicated Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit and fight for the money you deserve in court. Contact us today to get your consultation.


4589 Oleander Drive, Suite B
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 232-0944

11054 SC-707
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
(843) 232-0944

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