After reviewing your case, your attorney has submitted a claim to the insurance company for your personal injury accident. It does not take long for the insurance company to respond with an offer for settlement. As you and your attorney review that first offer, you get a sense that your attorney is not going to accept it. There are a lot of good reasons why you should be careful about accepting an insurance company’s first offer.
The Insurance Company Is Looking For A Bargain
The insurance company you are dealing with, regardless of who is paying the premiums, is looking to pay you as little as possible to settle the claim. Once you sign off on the deal, you can never reopen that claim again. Not even your attorney can reopen the claim for you, which means that the decision is final.
Your lawyer’s claim is based on your injuries, future medical needs, and lost income. Your insurance company’s first offer is an attempt to get out of this case cheap. For your own financial good, you should never accept the insurance company’s first offer.
Negotiation Can Be Powerful
Your lawyer is also a negotiator who understands how to negotiate settlements with insurance companies. If you do not give this professional negotiator a chance to utilize their skills on your behalf, then you are leaving money on the table. You want to be sure that your settlement will allow you to get the medical attention you need, pay your bills, and cover your lost income. A good negotiator can help you to get more than you may have expected.
Never Be Afraid To Go To Court
The insurance company is counting on you to not understand the process and fear the idea of going to court. You hire a professional attorney because you do not understand the process and because of the possibility that your case could go to court. You should not let any fear of putting your case in front of a judge cause you to settle for less money than you deserve. You should leave the process to your attorney and follow their lead every step of the way.
While you do not want to accept most first offers, you also do not want to wait around to figure out what you are going to do. Personal injury cases have a statute of limitations that can range from 30 days to three years. If you do not file your claim within that time, then you lose the right to seek compensation. As you mull over your options, remember that the clock is ticking and you do not want to be late.
If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, then you can expect the insurance company to offer a quick and usually inadequate settlement. Be sure to hire a good attorney, and be prepared to reject that first offer in lieu of a settlement that more suits your situation.