After a car accident, any personal injury claim will be handled by the insurance company of the driver responsible for the accident. When you are dealing with insurance agencies, you should remember that insurance companies are driven by profit, and they prioritize money over their policyholders. As such, you shouldn’t expect them to deal fairly. Insurance companies do their best to reduce the amount they have to pay to you as compensation. You should especially be wary of early settlement offers made by an insurance company.
In this post, we’ll show you why you should never accept immediate car accident settlements from an insurance company.
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Don’t Accept the Settlement Offer
Imagine this: you were driving on a clear road under the speed limit, and a reckless driver rear-ended you. Now you are seriously injured and can’t go to work. Who will pay for your expenses? Who will pay your mortgage or rent now that you cannot work? Just as these thoughts are going through your mind, the phone rings and a friendly voice introduces themselves as the insurance agent of the at-fault insurance company. The insurance agent tells you that they have great news. They say that the insurance company has decided to offer you a settlement of $3,000 to compensate you for your loss. All you have to do is sign the papers and the check will be deposited into your account.
You may think that the offer is good because the amount will help you pay for your expenses until you recover. However, the initial offer made by the insurance is likely to be much less than what you deserve. If you agree to this settlement, you won’t be able to get fair compensation.
The reason insurance adjusters initially make a lowball offer because they want to save themselves from paying a higher amount. They know that people who get injured in an accident are usually in a desperate condition and are likely to accept the low-ball offer without realizing the actual worth of their injuries.
Estimating the Worth of Your Injuries
To determine whether the settlement offer made by the insurance company is too low, you’ll need to estimate how much compensation you are entitled to for the injuries you have suffered in an accident. Some injuries can be calculated easily using medical bills, lost wages and rehabilitation costs. You must receive compensation for these economic damages. These costs are added up by the insurance adjuster when determining the worth of your injuries, so you should do the same.
However, there a few non-economic damages for which you are entitled to receive compensation; but they aren’t easy to calculate. For example, you may be entitled to receive compensation for lost future earnings and suffering and brought by the injury. An experienced personal injury attorney should be hired to determine how much compensation you should receive for these damages.
Reject the First Offer
You should reject the first offer made by the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident. You should reply by making a counteroffer. Start at the higher end of the range. For example, if the estimate of your injuries is $30,000 to $50,000, do not counter-offer with just $30,000 because you won’t be able to negotiate the offer in your favor. Instead, counter with $50,000 so that you have room to negotiate.
In the negotiation of a settlement, each side will provide different figures until they reach a figure to which both the insurance company and the person who filed the claim can agree. When you state your offer to negotiate, you’ll have to provide information about your damages to explain why you’re entitled to the payment you have stated.
Most of the time insurance company can settle with the injured personnel. However, you may fail to settle if the insurance company is not willing to pay you the amount you deserve. In this case, you have the right to take the case to court. You can hire a car accident attorney to file a lawsuit.
Disadvantages of Settling Early
An early settlement with the insurance company has some advantages over taking the case to court. For example, you won’t have to pay the attorney fees, and you’ll get money faster. However, settling early can prove to be damaging for you. If the injuries you sustained as a result of the accident haven’t healed properly and you develop a severe health condition later because of the injury, it might take more time to evaluate the amount of money that will be needed for your future treatment.
In this case, you’ll have to wait before settling to determine how much money you will need. If you settle early, you won’t get fair compensation and lose your right to sue the insurance company. Thus, you won’t be able to, and even a personal injury attorney won’t be able to help you in this case.
Therefore, it is essential not to accept an early settlement offer. Instead, talk to a personal injury attorney to determine the right course of action.
If you ever get involved in an accident, and the insurance company of at-fault party tries to settle the claim with an early offer, don’t accept that offer. Instead, wait until you have recovered from the injuries and the economic and non-economic damages resulting from the injury have been determined. Then, ask the insurance company to pay you the compensation you deserve. If the insurance company denies your claim or isn’t willing to give you fair compensation, hire a personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit.