Misconceptions About Rejecting a Settlement Offer After a Car Crash

putting hands up and refusing a penCar crash victims are often afraid to reject a settlement offer made by the insurance company. They may think that if they reject a settlement offer, they will not get any compensation for their damages. This could be because the insurance company made some misleading statements. There are also a lot of common misconceptions that people believe about the legal process.

Below, we discuss what it means for a crash victim to reject a settlement offer and why rejecting the first settlement offer is the best move. The first settlement offer from the insurance company is always far below the full value of the victim’s damages.

At TSR Injury Law, we have secured favorable settlements for car crash victims for more than two decades. Our services come at no upfront costs. There is also no obligation to take legal action after the initial consultation with one of our licensed attorneys.

Contact TSR Injury Law today to discuss your claim: (612) TSR-TIME.

What You Need to Know About Rejecting a Settlement Offer

The first settlement offer that insurance companies make is often far less than the full value of your claim. It may be tempting to accept this offer because you know you will get compensation.

However, once you accept a settlement offer you cannot recover any more compensation. You do not want to be left paying for your damages out of your own pocket. That is why it is always best to reject the first settlement offer.

Rejecting a settlement offer does not mean your claim is closed. In fact, rejecting a settlement offer is just the beginning of negotiations.

You may be able to get the insurance company to offer more compensation, especially if you hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. You want a lawyer with courtroom experience, so the insurance company knows you are serious about getting more compensation and they understand the consequences of not making a fair offer.

Our attorneys understand that crash victims often have many questions about their rights, legal options and the value of their claims. We know how to answer these questions and an initial consultation with one of our lawyers is free of charge.

Should You Reject a Settlement Offer on Your Own?

Although you are within your rights to reject a settlement offer, you should not do so alone. It is better to discuss the situation with an attorney and allow him or her to reject the offer on your behalf, if rejecting the offer is the best course of action.

If you reject an offer on your own, the insurance company may ignore you and not negotiate in good faith.  There is no fear of a lawsuit and yelling at the defense attorney for a fair offer will not work.   There is a better chance of receiving a follow-up offer if you are represented by an experienced attorney.

How Do You Know if a Settlement Offer is Inadequate?

This is a complex question, and you need to know a lot of information to come up with an answer. It is difficult for crash victims to gather all the relevant information and analyze it appropriately. That is why you should give serious consideration to talking to a lawyer about it.

If a claim is not worth a significant amount of money, the victim may be able to get full compensation from the insurance company on his or her own.  A thousand-dollar claim is still worth the same with a lawyer.

However, if you need significant compensation for your damages, you need experienced legal help. In these situations, insurance companies are highly unlikely to make a fair offer. The first offer is very likely to be far below the value of your claim. You may need tens of thousands of dollars for medical treatment and lost earning capacity, but the insurance company may only offer $5,000.

One of the benefits of working with an experienced lawyer is that he or she has handled claims that are like yours and know the true value of the claim based on hundreds of other cases that are similar and settled over time. This provides an experienced attorney invaluable insight into determining what your claim may be worth.

Dangers of Accepting a Settlement Offer

Sometimes insurance companies lead victims to believe they are going to receive full payment of their claim later. For example, you may sign a document and receive some money from the insurance company with the assurance that more will be coming.

However, this is not true because once you sign a settlement offer, you sign away your right to try to obtain more compensation from the insurance company, either through a settlement or a lawsuit.  Some insurance companies are notorious for offering a few thousand and suggesting you call back if more is needed later.  This is not the law and once a release is signed, there is no “call back later” compensation.

If you have any questions about a settlement offer or think that rejecting the offer and holding out for more money is the best option, you should discuss it with a licensed attorney. While compensation cannot change what happened in the crash, recovering full compensation is so important in the aftermath of a serious injury. Your life has been turned upside down and without full compensation, it is going to be very difficult to move forward.

Call to Set Up Your Free Legal Consultation

You may think you can handle a car crash claim on your own. However, there are a lot of things you may not have considered. Your injuries could be worse than you realize. If the insurance company does not offer enough compensation, it is going to be very difficult to get them to make a better offer without a lawyer.

It costs nothing to discuss your legal options in a free consultation with a Bloomington car accident lawyer from TSR Injury Law. We also do not get paid unless our clients get paid.

Free consultation. Millions recovered. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Can You Reopen a Car Crash Case That Has Been Settled?

pen writing on paperWhile there may be exceptions, the general rule is that once you settle a case, it cannot be reopened. This is because the settlement includes a section that releases the insurance company from further liability for the victim’s damages. There would be no reason for the insurance company to agree to a settlement without this language in the settlement.

Below, we discuss some of the exceptions when an attorney might be able to “reopen” a case that was settled. We also explain why it is so important to make sure a settlement provides all the compensation you need before you sign it.

If you want to make sure a settlement provides the compensation you need, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to help you before you sign a settlement document. Injured victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who go it alone.

The experienced Minneapolis auto accident attorneys at TSR Injury Law have helped many car crash victims secure compensation for all their damages. There are no upfront costs for our services.

Why Are Cases Typically Closed After the Settlement is Signed?

Insurance companies do not want to deal with multiple claims from one injury victim over the same injury. That is why insurance company settlements include a release of liability. While the language of each insurance company’s release may vary, it will say you are signing away your right to file a lawsuit in exchange for compensation from the insurer.

The insurance company needs a reason to pay compensation. They may say they are paying compensation because you need it, and they want to help you recover from the accident, but the reality is they want certainty and to expand their profit margins.

The insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible to resolve your case. That is why they may offer a settlement early in the process, before the full extent of your injuries is known. If you accept a settlement early in the process, you may be leaving compensation on the table. The insurance company knows full well that once you sign the settlement, you cannot seek more compensation from them.

While cases are typically only closed when the settlement agreement is signed, verbally agreeing to a settlement can be a bad idea if you are not sure the settlement provides all the compensation you need. The insurance company may try to hold you to your verbal agreement. That is why you should have an attorney managing your case and communicating with the insurance company on your behalf.

When May a Car Crash Case be Reopened?

There are rare instances when a car crash case could potentially be reopened after it was settled. For example, it is possible there may be significant technical errors in the settlement documents. Maybe a decimal point is out of place or there is a typo in the settlement amount. While it may be possible to simply fix the mistake, backing out of the settlement might also be possible.

Other reasons why a car crash case might be reopened include:

  • Defendant failed to perform – If you were supposed to receive the settlement within a certain number of days, but you have not received it, the case might be reopened because of the defendant’s failure to perform.
  • Settlement has not been signed – If you verbally agreed to the settlement, the case should not be closed until you sign the document. However, a verbal agreement could be interpreted as valid, which would make it harder to reopen your case.
  • Another party is at fault for some of your damages – This may not be the same thing as reopening your case, because you are not seeking compensation from the same insurance company you already settled with. You are seeking compensation from another at-fault party. This is a separate claim. An issue may still arise if you signed a general release, as opposed to a Pierrenger or Drake Release, which settled all cases even if you did not mean to.

It is important to note you cannot reopen a case because you need more compensation. It does not matter how severely you were injured or how much more compensation you need. Once you sign the agreement and compensation is paid out, it is usually not possible to reopen the case.

If your case goes to court, a jury verdict could potentially be appealed. However, appeals can only be granted for certain reasons. This could be thought of as reopening the case.

Unsure if You Have a Case? Call TSR Injury Law

Generally, you cannot reopen a car accident case that has been settled. That means you need to be sure the settlement provides full compensation for damages you have already suffered and damages you may suffer in the future.

At TSR, we understand how important it is to recover full compensation for your damages. Our goal is to help you get the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

Our firm works on contingency, so there are no upfront fees. The initial consultation is also free.

Call TSR today to discuss your situation: (612) TSR-TIME.