Accident victims must be careful when speaking to insurance companies. Insurance adjusters often make settlement offers early on in the claims process, but the amounts are much lower than you need. They know that crash victims need compensation to cover accident expenses and do not know the total value of their claim. If you verbally accepted an offer, you might wonder if your lawyer can negotiate for more. While they technically can in most cases, it might be challenging to obtain a higher offer once you accept less. That is why you must always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before accepting any offer.
The first settlement offer the insurance company makes is almost always far below the actual amount your claim is worth. The other driver’s insurance company wants to settle quickly before you come to understand the value of all the harms, losses and damages you have from the accident. That is because it is not in their best interest to offer full compensation. Remember, an insurance company is a business looking to maximize profits whenever possible, and the claims adjuster’s job is to be friendly and helpful initially in hopes of a fast, small settlement.
It is difficult to assess your claim’s value early on in the process even for an experienced claims adjuster or attorney. Victims need to finish their treatments, and doctors must determine whether you will have any long-term effects, the need for future treatment, etc. Only then can your attorney accurately determine how much you should receive for economic and non-economic damages.
Remember, you are under no obligation to accept an offer from the insurance company, regardless of what they say. Your injury attorney can also negotiate with them to reach a more favorable settlement. You normally have 2 years from the date of injury to settle or sue, unless the other party is part of the government, in which case you have shorter deadlines and greater need for talking to a lawyer ASAP. The sooner you talk to a Jensen Phelan lawyer, the sooner you get some free advice that will help you.
It can be tough to decline a settlement if you are out of work and medical bills are piling up, and insurance adjusters can be persuasive. However, if you only verbally accept an offer, you should consider speaking to your attorney before signing any documents. While you may think their offer is enough, you might later consider the potential costs of ongoing treatment or the potential of further complications. Once you sign ANYTHING as to settlement, you are very likely to be bound to the settlement you have agreed to in writing.
You do not have to accept any offer right away. You can tell the adjuster you need time to consider the offer and that you would like to consult with your attorney. Then call us for a free consultation and case evaluation.
As long as you have not signed any paperwork or sent a letter stating that you accept their offer, your injury attorney probably will be able to negotiate for a higher settlement. Additionally, you can refer the insurance company to speak to your lawyer if you ever feel uncomfortable speaking to a claim representative.
Once you sign a settlement offer, you may not be able to back out of it. Furthermore, you may not be able to receive more compensation if injuries worsen. Settlement offers usually contain clauses releasing insurance companies from future liability for the accident.
Unless you can prove the insurer committed fraud or coerced you into settling, it is unlikely that you can obtain additional compensation. That is why you must consider all options and get some legal advice before accepting an offer for anything but a small injury that has no complications.
Car crash claims are often worth much more than the insurance company is willing to initially offer. That is why you should contact the personal injury attorneys at the Jensen & Phelan Law Firm. We handle all types of cases, including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Our attorneys do not back down to insurance companies and stop at nothing to reach a favorable outcome. Don’t hesitate to contact us. The sooner you do, the more help we can provide. To schedule a free consultation, call (928) 778-2660 or complete our contact form.