Imagine you've been hit from behind in a car accident. You hit your head on the wheel when the other party crashed into you, and you needed an X-ray and stitches, resulting in a pretty significant emergency room bill and a day's worth of lost wages – not to mention your totaled vehicle. The insurance company gets back to you quickly with a settlement offer. This may seem like a best-case scenario, but you should think twice before you accept the offer. In this blog, we're going to address why you shouldn't accept the insurance company's first settlement offer.
If you've been injured in an accident, give our car accident lawyers at Impact Legal a call or text to schedule your free initial case review. You can reach us at 602-345-1818 if you're in Arizona and 505-386-2807 if you're in New Mexico. Additionally, you can fill out this convenient online form, and we will reach back out to you.
The Settlement Offer Is Entirely Too Low
Insurance companies are notorious for offering too-low settlements. There are a few reasons you may have received a low settlement offer:
- Many people just accept the low offer - The insurance company wants to protect its bottom line. So many people just accept the low offer that it's a strategic move for insurance companies to make a swift, low offer to car accident victims.
- The settlement amount may have been auto-computed - A practice insurance companies use is auto-calculating settlement amounts with computer software. The algorithm examines similar injury claims to get the estimate, which provides cookie-cutter results. Everyone's injuries and costs are different, and the algorithm is created to favor the insurance company.
- The insurance policy may have specific limits - Depending on the specific policy, there may be a limited amount that the insurance company will pay. This is also a convenient reason insurance companies use to offer low settlements or deny claims entirely.
- They don't believe you'll hire a lawyer - Which leads the adjusters to think you won't do anything about a low settlement or claim denial, so what do they have to lose? Hiring a lawyer sends a straightforward message that you mean business.
Are Other Damages Not Being Calculated?
Not knowing all the facts is another reason insurance companies offer too-low offers, which means they cannot calculate a fair amount. For that matter, you may not have all the facts early on in the process. For example, if you have sustained injuries that initially appeared minor, then weeks later turned out to be significant, you'll want to calculate new medical bills and potentially future bills. Proper recovery may depend on continued doctor visits, physical therapy, or even surgical procedures. You don't want to accept a settlement before you know exactly what damages should be included in your settlement request. A car accident lawyer will help you calculate your accident settlement amount to ensure all of your recovery bases are covered. Use our injury settlement online calculator tool to learn more about what you might expect in your specific accident case.
Take a look at one of our recent blogs which outlines the most important things to ask for in an accident settlement.
You May Be Settling Too Quickly
Once you settle with an insurance company, you lose the right to file a lawsuit. In addition to the possibility that other, more severe injuries and expenses may pop up later, settling too quickly opens the door for other financial mistakes. For instance, say you've accepted an unfair settlement amount, and then you learn one or more of the following facts about your situation:
- You should have been paid a lot more money based on your case, injury, and damages
- Your injuries are worse than you initially knew
- As a result of your initial injuries, you develop secondary injuries, like a serious infection
- Your recovery has been prolonged
- You receive expensive bills you weren't expecting after you accept the settlement
These situations happen to unsuspecting people frequently. The best way to avoid these situations is to work with a car accident lawyer to ensure you get the settlement you need and deserve.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Will Help
An experienced lawyer will know the tricks and tactics that insurance companies use to pay victims as little as possible. They'll know what needs to be calculated into your settlement so that you don't leave much-needed compensation on the table and delay your recovery process. They will also know how to prove the damages calculated in your settlement request to ensure you receive everything you need to become “whole” again and get your life back on track.
If you have been injured, don't delay your healing. Call or text our car accident lawyers at Impact Legal today. You can reach us at 602-345-1818, or you may fill out our convenient online form, and we will reach out to you to schedule your no-cost initial case review.