Dealing with an insurance company following an accident can be challenging, time-consuming, and a huge inconvenience. But then the insurance company begins talking about a settlement offer and you start to think that things aren’t so bad.
However, even when the first offer of a settlement from an insurance company sounds like a lot of money, it’s possible your accident will create financial losses greater than what is offered. You should not accept that first offer and should proceed with making an insurance claim and discussing the matter with an attorney.
As an individual, it can be challenging to know what a good settlement offer is. That’s why it’s important to get experienced legal counsel who can aid you in calculating a fair settlement.
We’ll examine a few important reasons why you should not accept the first offer an insurance company makes.
1. The Insurance Company Is Trying to Settle for as Little as Possible
Insurance companies know that the sooner they make a settlement offer, the less likely it will be that you have an attorney working to protect your best interests. And, the sooner they make an offer, the less time and financial resources you’ll have invested in the process.
What you should know is that the insurance adjuster doesn’t work for you. The insurance adjuster is there to minimize the impact to the business so they can pay out as little on your claim as possible. While this might sound like a highly negative view of the process, it’s true that their job is cost containment.
2. You Don’t Know the Full Extent of Your Expenses Yet
Early on in the claim process, you don’t know the full extent of your financial impact yet. So while the settlement offer might sound great at the moment, you might later accrue more expenses related to your insurance claim for which you won’t be able to seek compensation.
Instead, wait until your doctor gives you an all-clear, and give even a little more time after that to ensure you don’t have any residual pain and discomfort from the accident.
When suffering from a personal injury, you can pursue financial compensation in the following areas to name a few:
- Medical bill reimbursement
- Missed work
- Demotion or loss of a job due to injuries
- Missed milestones
- Enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
3. Accepting an Offer Closes the Insurance Claim
The insurance company knows that it can limit its liability after an accident by working to close the claim quickly. A settlement closes the claim entirely, meaning you can’t include additional medical bills against them or the at fault party to seek reimbursement.
Once you sign off on a settlement, your claim is complete, and you’ll receive the total compensation that you will get for that accident. At this point, you’ve also signed away your right to sue the responsible party or insurance company, even if an attorney looks at your case and says it’s worth much more.
In some cases, accident victims want to put the situation behind them as quickly as possible. That’s understandable but know that if you choose to accept the first settlement offer the insurance company makes, you may suffer financial consequences from the accident if your injury turns out worse than you expected.
It’s a good idea to at least take advantage of a free consultation with a car accident attorney before accepting an insurance company’s initial offer. During this consultation, an attorney can help guide you in your negotiations, even if you choose not to pursue a lawsuit against the insurance company.
Tips for Making an Insurance Claim
When making an insurance claim, what you say and don’t say are of equal importance. Here are some tips for your discussions with the insurance company.
- Have your attorney present during all phone calls and meetings with the insurance company. If you’ve chosen to not hire an attorney, at least take advantage of a free consultation before making an insurance claim.
- Never state that you are feeling fine or that you suffered no injuries. It’s appropriate to say that you’re seeing a doctor or receiving counsel from your medical professionals at this time. This can help protect your ability to pursue a personal injury lawsuit later.
- Get all insurance settlement offers in writing. Don’t accept anything over the phone and don’t sign off on a settlement without seeing it all in writing first. Then, keep this information for your records.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’re ready to take the next step in pursuing a personal injury case against the insurance company, Goldman & Daszkal will fight for your rights and a fair settlement. We provide a free consultation to get to know you and your case.
Allow us the opportunity to explain what to expect when dealing with the insurance company and how we can help. Schedule your free consultation now.