Does this sound like a reasonable insurance settlement? Should I find a lawyer and try to negotiate more, or just accept it and move on?
I was involved in an auto accident about a week ago. The other driver pulled a fairly crazy and illegal traffic maneuver and my car was totaled. I was bruised from my seatbelt but declined an ambulance. I carry liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Both I and the other party were the only people in our vehicles. The accident occurred in Texas.
The other party's insurance company contacted me today to offer a settlement amount. The person I spoke with said the amount is based on the resale amount for my vehicle in my location, the new tires I recently purchased (nothing fancy, just new), tax, and title.
Other items (like the car seat for the toddler) that were in the car that were damaged will be reimbursed after I purchase them and submit a receipt.
While I don't think the settlement offer would be enough to get me the same car in the same condition, it's pretty close to what I would guess, and I'm not an expert at these things. I've been looking at craigslist and will probably take out a 401(k) loan to augment the settlement and buy a replacement vehicle that'll get me and mine from point A to point B safely and comfortably.
I feel very inconvenienced by the other party. I understand that accidents happen, but the other party gave an incredibly different account of the incident (so incredulous, actually, that it probably helped my case much more than him, due to the photographs of the scene and the laws of physics). They changed their story from "My bad, I didn't see him, but it's not my fault because I was trying to evade this other accident"
to "This is totally the other driver's fault because the other driver was being crazy and reckless"
It's basically that last statement that's got me riled up. Had the other party just given a truthful account of the event I'd probably be accepting this settlement offer.
Before you answer, I know you're not a lawyer. I know that some of you may be a lawyer, and that you're not my lawyer.
I understand that contacting a lawyer immediately would be a wise thing to do, but my wife and I are not sure that it's in our budget right now. If contacting a lawyer would pay for itself then we could go that route, but if our settlement is $x and the lawyer fees are $x/2 it's not really worth it.
If I'm going to contact a lawyer, what kind of lawyer do I look for?
I don't think I'm really looking for a personal injury attorney, because my person wasn't really injured. I also loathe the idea of gouging someone because they made a mistake. I'd like to know if the amount I'm being offered should be accepted, or if I should ask for more given the circumstances.
Sorry it's long, first time asking, wanted to make sure I gave you all the info you might need. I looked at this thread but it didn't seem to fit my question.