How Long Should I Wait Before Accepting a Settlement Offer?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Jun 02, 2022 in Personal Injury
Insurance companies often make several settlement offers throughout the course of an injury claim, particularly when the victim is represented by an attorney. One of the most important decisions during the process is when to accept a settlement offer because it provides the compensation you need.
Even if the offer made by the insurance company sounds good to you, there may be several factors you have not considered that could significantly impact your financial well-being after the case is closed. That is why you should strongly consider speaking to our South Bend personal injury attorneys before agreeing to anything with the insurance company.
When Should I Agree to Settle My Claim?
Generally, injury victims should wait until the cost of all medical bills, property repairs or replacements and other damages has been assessed to determine how much a claim may be worth.
You do not want to accept the first offer from the insurance company because it will most likely not cover the full cost of your damages. If you do accept the offer and determine you have additional damages that are not covered by that settlement, you may not have the right to pursue additional compensation because the agreement is done, and you have released the insurance company from all liability.
Waiting until you have spoken to an attorney and evaluated all aspects of your claim is usually best. It is also important that you do not disclose to the insurance company your desire to settle over going to court. If the insurance company knows you are not willing to go to court, they may be less likely to make a fair offer.
How Long Will Negotiations Take?
Once you file a claim with the insurance company, they are likely going to send you a settlement offer with the hope they can quickly resolve the claim. If they do not make an offer right away, they will likely make one once you send a demand letter stating how much you think your case is worth.
After receiving that offer, you have the ability to send a counteroffer to kick off negotiations. (It is generally best to allow an attorney to negotiate on your behalf. If you attempt to handle negotiations on your own, the insurance company may take advantage of you.)
Sometimes the insurance company will not cooperate, but there are other times when they will. These negotiations usually take time, but it is important to know when the process has reached its endpoint. This is something an experienced attorney can assess on your behalf.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Matter?
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is an extremely important timeline to keep in mind when pursuing compensation. This deadline ensures all lawsuits against a liable party are brought forth in a timely manner.
When negotiating with the insurance company, this two-year time limit is important to remember because you do not want to make so many counteroffers that you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit. Remember that a lawsuit may be the thing that causes a liable party to make a better settlement offer. If not, a jury may force the insurance company to pay what you are asking, depending on how the case goes.
Our attorneys can handle negotiations on your behalf, making sure we are prepared to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out.
What if the Right Offer is Made?
If the insurance company makes an offer that meets all your demands, it may be a good idea to accept it sooner rather than later to avoid having to go through a jury trial.
However, there may still be some details you should consider reviewing with your attorney before accepting it. In some cases, you will have a time limit to accept or deny a settlement offer.
We Are Ready to Help. Call Today
Our attorneys are prepared to help you negotiate a settlement or take a case to court.
For decades our firm has helped numerous clients recover the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Our attorneys have experience negotiating claims as well as litigating them in court.
The consultation is free and there are no fees while we work on your case. You only pay us when we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Call (844) 678-1800 to schedule a free consultation.