It can be tempting to accept an offer from an insurance company following a car accident that was not your fault, but it might not be in your best interests to do so.
You may feel pressured to take an initial settlement by the other driver’s insurance company, but you do not have to accept it, even if they tell you the settlement they are offering is non-negotiable.
If the damage to your vehicle is minor and you were not injured in the accident, accepting a check from the other driver’s insurance company is most likely the right move.
But if you’re unsure about the costs of your treatment, don’t have a concrete timeline about if and when you can return to work, don’t accept their offer. An insurance company may even send you a check as enticement, but it’s important that you don’t immediately cash it, since this will erase your chances of pursuing a lawsuit, a move that could potentially leave you with mounting medical bills at the end of your treatment.
If you have lost work due to the accident, the offer of a financial settlement can be hard to resist, but insurance companies know this, and are most interested in resolving your case for the lowest sum possible. That’s how they stay profitable.
If there is any chance that your injuries could lead to long-term health issues, lost wages, or physical therapy, it’s imperative to hire a personal injury attorney to protect your interests.
Those who hire a personal injury attorney generally receive a larger settlement than those who don’t, and if you have sustained injuries that could require extensive care, any extra money he or she can obtain on your behalf will be important to cover those costs.
A personal injury lawyer can also help prevent you from hurting yourself financially during contact with the other driver’s insurance company. An adjuster will contact you following an accident to discuss the details leading up to the crash. Because you may inadvertently admit fault during this interview, talking to a personal injury attorney prior to the call can prevent you from making a costly mistake.
While seeking medical treatment should be the first step in your recovery, if you have been injured, a call to a personal injury attorney should be your second.
That initial consultation will give you an idea of what types of settlements similar cases generate, and you will get a better idea of how to answer questions if an adjuster calls, or if you should forward those calls to your new attorney.
You don’t want to accept a settlement that fails to cover the cost of your medical care, pain, and suffering, or other expenses.
If you have been in a car accident that was not your fault, contacting a personal injury attorney is the smartest move to make. Your lawyer will let you know if you should accept the initial settlement or if it is more prudent to hold out for more.