FREE CONSULTATION

Should I Accept the First Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?

New York car accident lawyer personal injury attorney

No, you should not accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company or agent without careful consideration. This is because the insurance adjuster will try to settle your claim with the minimum amount, which might not be enough to recover your damages.

Your main priority after a car accident should always be your recovery. However, once you’re done with your initial medical treatment, you may consider recovering your damages and settling your car accident claim. 

Moreover, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might reach out to you with a first settlement offer. Instead of accepting the initial offer, try negotiating and presenting a counteroffer. Don’t be concerned about the insurance company rejecting your settlement.

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 Law, PLLC, New York car accident attorneys at 917-540-8728.

What Does the First Settlement Offer Include?

If the other driver is responsible for the accident, their insurance company will offer you the first settlement offer. In no-fault states like New York, your own insurance company may make the initial offer.

 Similarly, in cases where the at-fault driver lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage, your own insurance company will offer you the first settlement offer if you’ve filed a claim under your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. However, you have to be mindful of certain aspects of the first settlement offer:

  1. Initial settlement offers are lower than what you might be entitled to. Be prepared for negotiations. If you find the offer is insufficient, consider discussing it with the insurance company or talking to a lawyer.
  2. Some injuries may not immediately show symptoms. Ensure you undergo a proper medical evaluation to understand the full extent of your injuries.
  3. You should wait until you fully recover to determine what compensation you may deserve
  4. The first settlement offer is not necessarily the final one, and the insurance adjuster can never revoke (officially cancel) your offer, even if you reject it. 

Therefore, having a car accident lawyer by your side can be a good choice when negotiating with the insurance company and want to make a counter offer. Feel free to call us toll-free at 917-540-8728 for a confidential case review. 

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 settlement amount before you fully understand the severity 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. Speaking with a lawyer could show that you have the right to get compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and the emotional distress caused by the car crash.

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 money. Instead, it’s the start of the negotiation process, and it’s essential to do this to make sure you get a fair deal for your personal injury claim. 

For example, if your injuries and medical bills amount to between $70,000 and $80,000, it wouldn’t be reasonable to counteroffer with $30,000 or $60,000. But, a more appropriate counteroffer would be closer to $80,000, which will be a fair settlement for your damages.

Furthermore, you can communicate your reasons for rejecting the initial offer by writing a letter to the insurance adjuster. It’s important to be aware that if you accept a first settlement offer from the responsible party, you lose your right to file a lawsuit or seek additional compensation later.

Once you accept the first settlement offer, you cannot change your decision if you discover the compensation is insufficient for your damages and losses. If you are uncertain about accepting or rejecting the first settlement offer, communicate with your insurance provider. And let them know:

  • You currently lack sufficient information to make a decision.
  • Your lawyer and you will only communicate once you have completed medical treatment and know the severity of your injuries.

Is Settlement Cancellation Possible With the Insurance Company?

When you turn down the initial settlement offer, you might worry that the insurance company could cancel or withdraw the settlement. Fortunately, it’s uncommon for them to do so. Car accidents and personal injury cases are complex, and determining a fair settlement involves various factors, like the extent of injuries and liability.

If you have a lawyer, the insurance company may accept your refusal proposal and even entertain a counteroffer that you believe correctly covers your damages.

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. First, you should draft and send a detailed demand letter to the liable party’s insurance company. Ensure it’s addressed to the insurance adjuster who gave you that first offer. If you think the offer is too low, you have the right to ask the adjuster about it. 

You get to tell your side of the story in your demand letter. You can explain important points like:

  • How did the accident happen?
  • Who’s to blame?
  • How it has affected your life?
  • What medical treatment you’ve had?
  • How long does it take to recover?

You can include any other factors or information that supports your case. Moreover, you’ll mention a specific amount of money you’d accept to settle the case.

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 always recommended to finish your medical treatment first and understand the extent of your damages. Once you’ve reached this point, you can start negotiating with the claims adjuster. 

When they present a settlement offer, it’s important to ask for a breakdown of the details. Examine each part to see how much they are offering for all the losses you’ve experienced.

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
  • Help with household tasks
  • 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 Delaying 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 their response. 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.

How Settlement Negotiations Work After You File a Lawsuit?

The process begins with one party (the plaintiff) filing a lawsuit against another party (the defendant). Before settlement negotiations can begin, both parties engage in the discovery process. This involves the exchange of information and evidence relevant to the case. Discovery may include documents, depositions, interrogatories, and other methods to gather information.

After that, both parties and their lawyers assess the strengths and weaknesses of their cases based on the evidence gathered during the discovery process. This assessment helps determine the outcome if the case proceeds to trial.

Then, both parties may make an initial settlement offer. This offer serves as a starting point for negotiations. The initial offer depends on the party’s assessment of the case, the risks and costs of litigation, and the desire to settle rather than go to court. This stage involves a series of counteroffers and discussions, with each party’s lawyers working towards a mutually acceptable resolution.

If an agreement is reached, the terms are formalized in a written settlement agreement. In some cases, court approval may be required to finalize the settlement. However, mediation or arbitration methods can also facilitate discussions, often with the assistance of a neutral third party.

When Should You Think About Getting a Lawyer for Your Insurance Claim?

personal injury lawyers - free consultation

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 some signs that should make you think about talking to 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 or income, 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 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.

A car accident attorney can figure out future medical costs and lost income, and they’ll work with your doctors to thoroughly document your injuries. With this evidence, your lawyer can push the insurance company for a higher settlement amount. 

Don’t Settle for Less: Contact Uptown Injury Law!

Your claim is worth more than a rushed car accident settlement offer. Before you say ‘yes,’ talk to us! At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC,  our experienced team of New York 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.

Why Choose Uptown Injury Law?

  1. Compassionate Advocacy: We recognize that each case is unique, and behind every claim is a person with a story. Our dedicated team listens with empathy, understanding the pain and disruption a car accident can cause in your life.
  2. Experienced Legal Team: With 15+ years of experience in personal injury law, our attorneys are well-versed in handling various car accident cases. From minor collisions to more severe accidents, we have successfully represented clients, securing the compensation they deserve.
  3. Detailed Investigation: We leave no stone unturned when it comes to collecting evidence for your case. Our team conducts a meticulous investigation to establish fault, assess damages, and build a strong foundation for your claim.
  4. Clear Communication: We believe in open and honest communication. You will be informed about the progress of your case every step of the way, ensuring that you are empowered to make informed decisions.
  5. Highest Compensation: Our goal is to secure the maximum compensation possible for our clients. We understand the financial strain of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, fights tirelessly to reduce this burden and help you regain financial stability.
  6. Personalized Approach: We recognize that each client is different or unique, and we tailor our approach to meet your specific needs. Your case will get the personalized attention it deserves, and we will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact us today to ensure you’re protected and compensated correctly. Call us at 917-540-8728 for a FREE case review and explore your legal options.

FAQs

Is the First Settlement Offer Usually Fair?

No, the first settlement offer is usually unfair. Insurance companies may begin with a low offer to save money. It’s common to reach a fair settlement amount through counteroffers and discussions. Seeking the help of a lawyer can assist you in evaluating the offer and negotiating for maximum compensation.

How Do I Know if the Settlement Offer Is Fair?

To determine the fairness of a settlement offer, it’s crucial to assess various factors, including your medical records, lost wages, and anticipated future expenses related to your injury. While making this evaluation, seeking professional guidance from a reputable personal injury law firm is often advisable.

Can I Negotiate With the Insurance Company?

Yes, you can. It’s common to negotiate for a better settlement. Thus, it’s advisable to gather evidence, assess damages, and make a clear and reasonable counteroffer. Furthermore, a car accident lawyer has experience in handling an insurance company and can help you get better compensation for your damages.

What if I Accept the First Offer and Later Realize It’s Insufficient?

Once you accept, it’s final. You cannot pursue additional compensation. Additionally, once you accept the offer, you also lose your right to sue the negligent party or file a lawsuit. Therefore, be cautious and assess carefully before accepting any compensation offer.

Should I Speak With a Car Accident Attorney Before Accepting a Settlement Offer?

Yes, it’s highly recommended. An experienced attorney can assess your car accident case and advise on better settlement offers. Seeking their guidance ensures you make informed decisions regarding your case.

Will Rejecting the First Offer Hurt My Chances of a Fair Settlement Later?

When you turn down the first offer, it won’t damage your car accident case. Insurance companies can not revoke or officially cancel your settlement. It’s a regular step in the process of discussing and agreeing on a fair settlement for your situation.

What Factors Can Influence the Value of My Settlement?

Several factors can influence the value of your settlement, including the extent of injuries, medical expenses, property damage, lost wages or income, and the impact on your daily life. The strength of your case, the evidence presented, and the skill of your lawyer also play crucial roles in determining the settlement amount. Thus, consulting with a personal injury attorney can help you navigate these factors and pursue fair compensation.

Can I File a Lawsuit if I Reject the Initial Offer?

Yes, you can file a lawsuit even if you decide not to accept the initial offer. Rejecting the offer doesn’t stop you from taking legal action. So, if you deny the first settlement offer, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney. They can assist you in pursuing the maximum compensation for all your losses.

How Long Does the Settlement Negotiation Process Usually Take?

The duration of the settlement negotiation process can vary, but it typically takes weeks to months. This timeline depends on how complicated your case is. Talk to your car accident lawyer to get a clear idea of how long the negotiation process with the insurance company might take and to understand the specific timelines involved.

GET FREE CASE EVALUATION

Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

This content is trustworthy because it has been thoroughly researched, fact-checked and reviewed by experts in the field. The information provided is accurate and reliable, and sources have been cited to ensure transparency and credibility. The authors or publishers of this content have a reputation for producing high-quality, unbiased material. Additionally, any potential conflicts of interest or biases have been disclosed. Overall, readers can trust that the information presented in this content is trustworthy and credible.