Should I Take the Settlement Offer?

Talk to a Lawyer Before You Settle With Insurance

Following a car accident caused by another driver, you can be sure that you will be contacted by that driver’s insurance company.  First, the adjuster will want to take your recorded statement.  They will be listening for any comment you make that may indicate you had some responsibility for the accident.  They also ask questions that are designed to prove that you were not injured in the accident, or if you were that your injuries are not serious.  Often, after getting a statement, the insurance company may promptly follow-up with a settlement offer.  They will tell you that they would like to resolve the matter as quickly as they can and present that as being in your best interest.  Most of the time, however, it’s not.

Before you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company for your car accident injuries, we advise you to call and speak with one of our injury lawyers to make sure that your rights are being protected.

Insurance Companies Like Quick Settlements

It is in the best interest of the insurance company to get your injury claim settled as soon as possible.  It is nearly always going to save them money.  The extent of your injuries and the recommended medical treatment may not even be known yet.  The initial settlement offer is made in hopes that the lowball offer seems like a lot of money to you if you are experiencing financial hardship.  Maybe you have missed some work and need money to cover your bills. Playing up your financial insecurity is a way for the insurance company to keep more of its money in its own pocket rather than in yours.  

Don’t Let the Adjuster Rush Your Decision

Insurance adjusters often use language that is meant to mislead you.  They may make you feel that this is a one-time offer and you must accept it, or it will be rescinded.  You are not under any obligation to accept the insurance company’s offer.  Call a reputable and experienced personal injury attorney to get advice.  The insurance adjuster may try to discourage you from doing this.  They may say that involving an attorney will result in you getting less money.  This is simply not the case.  An honest and skilled lawyer will review the facts of your case and will let you know if the current offer is reasonable in light of your situation, or if you would be better off if you move forward with legal representation.  A good attorney will ensure that you receive appropriate medical care and that all your damages – both economic and noneconomic – are accounted for and reimbursed in any settlement.

Why Not Take the Settlement Offer?

If you were injured in the accident, there is no way to know the full extent of your damages only a week or two after the incident.  Some traumatic injuries need weeks, months, or even years of medical treatment to heal.  Some injuries end up causing permanent impairments.  As such, there is no way to know how much your future medical expenses will cost.  It is not advised to discuss settlement before your medical treatment is completed and you have a recovery prognosis from your health care provider(s).  An experienced injury lawyer will be able to analyze the full value of your damages.  

If you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company and sign a release, you give up your right to file a lawsuit.  Even if you continue to have pain and other symptoms from your injuries, you will have no way to receive any additional compensation from the negligent party for your ongoing medical bills and pain and suffering.  

A trustworthy attorney will tell you if a pending settlement offer is fair.  In some cases, it may be.  Watch the YouTube video below, which discusses finding a Northern California attorney you can trust.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer 

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento who has advocated on behalf of injured Sacramentans for more than three decades.  The injury lawyers at my firm will always give you a fair assessment of your case.  If you have any questions, we are happy to provide free and friendly advice.  Call us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400, or send your questions via our online form.

Photo Attribution: MMB

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