Should I Accept the First Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jun 11, 2021 in Personal Injury
It may be tempting to accept the first offer from an insurance company after you have been injured in an accident. This may be because your injuries are keeping you out of work and you are struggling to pay your medical bills.
Whatever your reasons may be for wanting to accept that first offer, it is important to understand why it is often best to hold off on doing so. Our personal injury lawyers in South Bend are prepared to review your claim during a free consultation to determine how much your claim may be worth, so we may negotiate a better settlement on your behalf.
It is important to recover full compensation because otherwise, you may not be able to pay for all your medical treatment. This could result in stopping treatment, leaving you with significant medical problems.
What is the Extent of Your Damages?
One of the most important factors to consider when negotiating a settlement is the extent of your damages. This includes any injuries to you or your passengers, as well as any damage to your property.
The insurance company may be quick to offer a settlement for the accident before you get the opportunity to be evaluated by a medical professional. If you accept that first offer, you may not be able to seek more compensation later. It is difficult to know the severity of your injuries so early in the process.
Additionally, accident victims are generally unaware that they may be eligible for emotional damages, which the insurance company is not likely to include in its first offer.
Does the Offer Consider Your Long-Term Needs?
When determining how much to offer injury victims, insurance companies rarely take the costs of long-term care into consideration.
For some accident victims, the injuries he or she suffers require extensive medical care. For example, a severe spinal injury that leaves a victim paralyzed may require life-long care and medical equipment that may not be included in the first offer.
Can I Make a Counteroffer?
While it may seem like a bad idea to reject a settlement offer after your accident, it is important to remember that the insurance company is likely offering a very low amount on purpose in the hope that you accept it and move on. You are within your rights to make a counteroffer, or hire an attorney to do so on your behalf.
The first offer is just a starting point to the negotiation process. The insurance company may try to get you to believe there will be no more offers if you reject the first one. However, that is often not the case.
Can the Insurance Company Retract an Offer?
Sometimes injury victims may want to accept the first offer out of fear that the insurer will take the initial offer off the table if he or she rejects it.
While insurance companies are under no legal obligation to stick to that first offer, it is usually highly unlikely that they will retract their offer.
What if None of the Insurer’s Settlement Offers Are Enough?
While opting to settle a claim may be the most common way injury claims are handled, it is not the only option.
If none of the offers the insurance company is making meets your needs and expectations, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. Keep in mind that once a lawsuit is filed, the insurer may be more willing to begin the process of negotiations.
Let Us Help You Negotiate. Call Today
If you have been offered a settlement from the insurance company, it may be in your best interest to discuss it with an attorney before agreeing to it.
Our attorneys have experience negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of injury victims. We can review the offer made to you and determine whether it covers the full value of your claim.
We offer a free consultation and charge you nothing while we work on your claim.
Call us today at (844) 678-1800