When To Accept a Settlement Offer After a Personal Injury

February 12 2020 | Personal Injury Lawyer Blog
  • A settlement offer from an insurance company may promise a quick resolution of your money problems caused by the injuries you sustained in an accident. However, is accepting such an initial offer really the best solution available to you? Read our blog to find out.

    If you have recently sustained an injury in a car crash or an accident of another kind, you likely have a lot on your plate right now. Dealing with the physical aspect of the injury – hospital stays, physical therapy, medication, and the like – can already be overwhelming enough. However, more often than not, the consequences of an accident go beyond its impact on the injured person’s health. At times, due to mounting medical bills and a budget further aggravated by injury-related time off work, the biggest concern of an accident victim is money.

    In such circumstances, a call from the insurance company with a settlement offer may sound like good news. Even if the payout proposed by the insurer won’t exactly cover all of your medical expenses and other financial losses, you may reason that you need the money now rather than in some unspecified point in the future. You may also worry that the chances of being presented with a better offer are slim. In fact, you may have been told as much by the insurance company’s representative – that the proposed settlement is the most they are willing to pay, and that higher compensation amounts for your kind of injury aren’t even possible.

    There’s no doubt that a quick settlement with immediate payout may seem like a tempting idea for all accident victims in dire need of money. Insurance companies are aware of this fact as well – and that’s why they are so eager to settle any potential claims with the accident victim as soon as possible. Unfortunately, in many cases, the amount of money they propose in the settlement offer represents a small fraction of the actual worth of the claim. That’s why you will do well to thoroughly consider any settlement offers before making the final decision. In this article, we will mention a few important things that you should take into consideration if you have been presented with a compensation proposal by an insurance company.

    1. How Serious Is Your Injury?

    Before you seriously consider any settlement offer, you need to make sure you understand the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. This often poses a challenge to the accident victims as some injuries may be more serious than they first appear. At the beginning of the treatment, it is often not clear how fast you will be able to recover or whether you’ll be able to completely regain your pre-accident health. In consequence, you may be at a loss when it comes to predicting how your injury will affect your current ability to work as well as your long-term professional prospects.

    For a compensation offer to be fair and just, it must take into account all such long-term factors. Therefore, if you get a settlement proposal before you have completed your treatment and reached what’s known as maximum medical improvement, you shouldn’t feel obliged or pressured to accept in. In addition, you should also postpone making any decisions until you get in contact with a trusted professional who will help you assess the full economic impact of the injury you sustained.

    2. Are You Ready To Forgo Your Rights to Any Further Claims?

    Some accident victims may not realize that settlements are final and binding. This means that, by virtue of signing a settlement agreement, the injured party relinquishes the right to file any further claims or to initiate legal action against the person responsible for the accident in order to obtain better compensation in the future. Even if the settlement proposed by the insurance company involved compensation payout below the actual worth of your claim and the value of your total accident-related expenses, it will be impossible to alter its terms later on.

    On the other hand, rejecting the initial settlement offer doesn’t mean that the injured party will lose any chance of receiving compensation. If you are not satisfied with the proposed terms of the settlement, you still may pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. If their insurance company is unwilling to take part in any further negotiations for a more satisfactory settlement, you are also entitled to file a lawsuit and fight for just compensation in court.

    3. Did You Talk to a Lawyer?

    Handling compensation talks with an insurance company may be extremely challenging for an accident victim. An insurance company may employ skillful tactics to discourage you from pursuing a legal claim in relation to your injuries and to convince you to accept the lowest amount of compensation possible. It may be easy to fall for such tactics – especially if you’re still recovering from your injuries and your health is still your biggest priority.

    For this reason, it may be a good idea to delegate the task of negotiating with the insurer to a legal professional experienced in handling such issues. If you are interested in how a lawyer can help you obtain the financial compensation that will allow you to cover all your accident-related expenses, contact Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers today.

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