What Should I Do if the Insurance Company Offers a Quick Settlement?
Insurance companies often offer compensation to victims very quickly. They know victims are anxious to receive compensation because of mounting medical expenses, car damage, rental bills and wage loss. Sometimes insurance companies will try to settle the property claim and then add a few dollars for the “rest of the claim” when an injured person does not understand what they are settling for. Insurance companies also know victims have no idea what a “case” is worth, and that people receive on average three times more with legal representation.
However, it rarely is a good idea to accept a quick settlement. Learn more about why insurers make settlement offers to victims and how you should respond.
Reach out to an experienced Bloomington personal injury lawyer from TSR Injury Law to discuss the insurance company’s settlement offer. We may be able to help you obtain fair compensation for the damages you have sustained.
Initial Offers are Usually Too Low
If an insurance company offers a settlement soon after a crash, it is likely to be worth much less than the full value of your damages. The insurance company is looking to close out the claim quickly and pay out the lowest amount of compensation it can. Insurance companies are not concerned about you receiving fair compensation or fully recovering for the losses from your crash. They are businesses focused on profit. The less they pay out for claims, the more profit they make.
Insurance companies like to offer quick settlements because victims often take them, out of fear they may not get another offer. They also may feel anxious as bills and expenses pile up and they cannot work.
Once you settle your claim, you give up the right to pursue more insurance compensation and the right to file a lawsuit. This is devastating if you later find out your injuries were more severe than you first knew or discover the true value of the claim was short by a multiple of three.
Can I Counter?
Many accident victims are afraid to reject an insurance company’s offer because they fear that they will not make another offer. However, the first offer is usually not the last one the insurance company will make. The insurance company has an incentive to settle claims outside of court to avoid the cost and uncertainty of trial. They expect you to negotiate. The greater issue is injured people do not know the “value” of the claim. A first or last offer is usually much less than what the same claim is worth with legal representation. Why? Because attorneys that specialize in the area have thousands of other claims to compare to and most importantly, if the insurance company does not act fairly, a lawyer can hold them legally accountable. Injured people can only be mad about low offers. An attorney can actually do something about it and the firm’s reputation of prior litigation success also plays into the insurance company offer. The law allows for a multitude of claims. They include:
- The cost of past medical bills
- The anticipated cost of future medical care
- Property damage
- Lost wages
In addition to damages that are easier to calculate (like wage loss) there are “soft” damages to consider. These include the effects the accident may have on your life, such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
When Should You Settle?
The reality is that most personal injury claims settle, many before a lawsuit is ever filed. It is your case and ultimately your decision when you decide to settle. However, it is a good idea to discuss the situation with an experienced lawyer, who can help determine the fair value of your claim. A free legal consultation is key to any educated decision.
Your lawyer will likely advise you not to settle your claim until you have healed from your accident. At that point, your lawyer can better determine the cost of future medical care and how your injury may affect your life moving forward. A lawyer can also settle part of the claim and keep other parts open. For example, the car damage and rental can be settled quickly, but the end injury claim can remain open if the proper release is used.
Contact TSR Injury Law for Help
You do not have to confront the insurance company alone. The experienced attorneys at TSR Injury Law may be to help you pursue maximum compensation from the insurance company. You do not have to accept a lowball settlement offer from the insurance company that will not fully compensate you for the damages you suffered.
Contact us today to schedule your free case review. (612) TSR-TIME