Should I Accept the First Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
Your main priority after a car accident should always be your recovery. However, once you’re done with your initial medical treatment, your thoughts may consider of recovering your damages and settling your car accident claim. Moreover, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might reach out to you with an initial settlement offer.
However, it is recommended not to rush into accepting the first offer without careful consideration. The insurance adjuster will try to settle your claim with the minimum amount, which might not be enough to recover your damages.
Hence, make sure to consult a car accident lawyer before proceeding with your insurance claim process. Your lawyer will not only help you calculate the damages accurately but will you negotiate with the insurance company. If you’re looking for a free initial case review for your car accident, reach out to Uptown Injury car accident attorneys at 917-540-8728.
Why Do Insurance Companies Offer Quick Settlements?
You may be wondering why the insurance company is eager to provide you with a settlement offer promptly following your accident. There are two primary reasons behind this approach.
Firstly, their aim is to reach a swift settlement before you fully understand the extent of your injuries. This is because, in some cases, your injuries may not be immediately apparent. So, by persuading you to accept a settlement early in the process, they can potentially decrease your compensation amount.
Secondly, insurance adjusters want to settle with you before you talk to a car accident attorney. This is a common tactic, especially in personal injury cases, as they won’t be able to minimize their payout.
What Should You Do After Getting the First Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
When the insurance company makes an initial settlement offer, it’s time to take some critical steps. This is where you and your lawyer should work together.
To initiate the process, it is advisable to compose and forward a detailed demand letter to the insurance company responsible for the claim. Moreover, if you find the initial offer inadequate, you are well within your rights to inquire with the adjuster regarding the offer’s reasoning and potential for adjustment.
You get to tell your side of the story in your demand letter. Explain essential things like:
- How did the accident happen?
- Who’s to blame?
- What medical treatment you’ve had?
- How long does it take to recover?
- How it has affected your life?
You can include any other factors or information that supports your case. Also, you;ll need to mention a specific amount of compensation you’d accept to settle the case. However, if you’re not sure about the accurate amount of your damages, your car accident lawyer will help you determine the rightful compensation you deserve.
What If I Say No to a Settlement Offer?
When you decline the insurance company’s first offer, they usually won’t take it back or offer less amount later. Instead, it’s the start of the negotiation process, and it’s important to do this to make sure you get a fair deal for your personal injury claim.
When Is the Right Time to Accept an Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?
You should consider accepting the initial offer from the insurance company after your medical treatment is completed. This is because you won’t know your injuries completely until you’ve reached your maximum medical improvement. Additionally, after you’ve completed your treatment, your doctor may assess any permanent impairments you have, which could determine the actual value of your injury claim.
It is advisable to consider the initial offer made by the insurance company only after you have completed your medical treatment. This is because the full extent of your injuries may not become entirely clear until you have achieved what is referred to as “maximum medical improvement.”
Furthermore, upon concluding your medical treatment, your healthcare provider can conduct an assessment to determine any permanent impairments, which will play a pivotal role in establishing the accurate value of your injury claim.
Once this milestone has been reached, you can initiate negotiations with the claims adjuster. During this negotiation phase, it is crucial to request a detailed breakdown of the settlement offer. Take the time to carefully examine each component to ascertain how much is being offered to compensate you for all the losses you have incurred.
These losses can encompass various things, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care
- Personal care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Travel expenses related to medical appointments
- Loss of enjoyment in life
You must remember that you are not obligated to accept the initial settlement offer. You have the option to negotiate for a higher amount. However, when you decide to negotiate, it’s important to be fair in your counteroffer and ensure you have evidence to support your claim.
What to Do When the Insurance Company Is Dragging Your Claim?
Here are two important steps to follow if you’re feeling like the insurance company is not paying attention to your claim:
Step 1: Reach Out in Writing
Write down a letter or send an email to the insurance adjuster. Be polite but assertive. Ask them for an update on your claim and set a specific deadline, like ten days or two weeks, for them to respond. Also, inquire about any information or documents they may still need from you.
Step 2: Reminder About Time
If you don’t receive an update by the deadline, remind the adjuster that you have plenty of time, as per your state’s statute of limitations, to take legal action regarding the car accident. Make it clear that you’re prepared to consult a car accident lawyer if you don’t see real progress and a commitment to taking your claim seriously.
These steps can help you ensure that your claim gets the attention it deserves.
When Should You Think About Getting a Lawyer for Your Insurance Claim?
Consulting a personal injury lawyer before you say ‘yes’ to a settlement offer is smart. If you’re unsure what to do, it’s better to be cautious and get legal advice before agreeing to the insurance company’s offer to settle your claim.
Remember, the claims adjuster from the insurance company isn’t working on your side. They’re there to protect the insurance company’s interests, not yours. The insurance company isn’t obligated to settle your claim fairly or pay you what it’s worth. You’ve got to look out for yourself.
Here are when you need to consider hiring a car accident lawyer:
- You Suffered Severe Injuries: If your injuries are major and the current medical bills are piling up, a lawyer can help you get what you deserve.
- The Insurance Company Blames You: If they say it’s partly your fault for the accident, you’ll require a personal injury lawyer to sort that out.
- You Missed Work: If you were out of work for a while, because of your injuries, you may have lost wages, and a lawyer can help you recover them.
- You Have a Permanent Injury: When your injury has left you with a lasting impairment or disability, a lawyer can ensure you’re compensated accordingly.
- The Adjuster is Pushy: If the other driver’s insurance company pressures you into accepting a low settlement offer, it’s time to consult a car accident lawyer.
- You Don’t Know What Your Claim is Worth: The insurance company might use a computer program to value your claim, but it may not capture everything. A car accident attorney can assess the actual value of your case.
Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve
Your claim is worth more than a rushed car accident settlement offer. Before you say ‘yes,’ talk to us!
At Uptown Injury Law, our experienced team of car accident lawyers knows how to fight for what’s rightfully yours. Don’t accept less than you deserve. Let us handle the negotiations with the insurance claims adjuster on your behalf and get you the maximum compensation for your damages.
Call us at 917-540-8728 for a FREE case review and explore your legal options.