Like most people, the first thing you are likely to do after a car accident is to file a claim with your insurance company. The collision coverage in your motor vehicle insurance policy will cover the cost of damages to your car. However, if someone else’s negligence caused the car accident and your resultant injuries; you are legally entitled to compensation or settlement for medical treatment bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, in addition to the property damage.
As a result of your injuries in a car accident, the insurance company adjuster may contact you to settle your insurance claim. When an insurance company finds out that it is liable for a claim settlement, it will usually be quick to propose a low settlement amount to limit its liability and dispose of the claim hastily.
While the insurance company counts on saving its costs with a small payout quickly instead of having to pay a bigger settlement later, accepting a first settlement offer can work against your interests and you must avoid it at all costs. Instead of accepting the initial settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company, you must contact and try to retain a competent personal injury attorney to seek and fight for the recovery of maximum possible compensation for your damages.
Let us discuss in detail why you should avoid falling for this insurance company tactic. Here are three crucial facts about car accident compensation claims that you need to understand:
The Insurance Adjuster Will Look After the Insurance Company’s Interests
When the insurance adjuster contacts you after your car accident and conveys an initial settlement offer, they might make it sound like the best possible offer for you. You should understand the mechanism behind the insurance business, and know that the insurance adjuster is not working for you.
The insurance company is under no obligation to offer you a fair settlement. Their primary interests as a business lie in reducing their losses and exposure to liability. Since the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, their job is to protect the company’s interests.
The insurance adjuster is not there to look out for your fair or rightful compensation claim. Mostly, they will try to hide from you the fact that the initial settlement offer might be much lower than the real value of your compensation claim.
The best alternative for you is to talk to a capable and trusted personal injury attorney to ensure that you do not lose out on a fair and just compensation by accepting the low initial settlement offer from the insurance adjuster.
Acceptance of the Offer Precludes Filing of Additional Claims by You
Typically, the insurance company comes up with a quick first settlement offer once you file your accident claim. The insurance adjuster will most probably tell you that the offer is the best that the insurance company can come up with. The insurance company is likely to encourage you to accept the offer without any delay, pressing on the fact that the limits of your insurance policy do not allow for a higher offer. However, that might not be the case entirely.
You can fight for more compensation if the amount from your medical treatment bills, your lost earnings, and your pain and suffering are higher than your insurance policy’s limits. If you are in the middle of an ongoing medical treatment for your injuries, it is prudent to wait till you have full information about the nature and scope of your entire economic and non-economic damages due to the accident.
The insurance company uses the ploy of a quick settlement offer to hamper your efforts of gathering sufficient information regarding the nature and extent of your injuries and losses. Acceptance of the settlement offer by you releases the insurance company from all liability in the future.
You must wait until the completion of your treatment and the issuance of an impairment rating by your consulting physician. Having accepted the first settlement offer, you will forego any subsequent claims, even if you find out that you need additional medical treatment later.
Acceptance of the Offer Precludes Any Additional Compensation from Other Sources
When you accept the settlement offer, you relinquish all chances of receiving any additional compensation. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the tactics usually employed by the insurance companies and can fight aggressively to safeguard your rights.
Apart from any additional claims you may have against the insurance company, you might also have claims against other parties involved in or responsible for the accident. Hastening to accept the settlement offer without taking all other options into account may jeopardize your rightful and fair compensation claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney with Proficiency in Insurance Settlement Negotiations
Since 1985, the lawyers affiliated with Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn have dedicated their practice to helping people when they need it most. Our attorneys are highly skilled in negotiating with belligerent insurance adjusters to get the settlement you deserve. To find out how we can help you with a personal injury claim, call us today at 800-752-0042 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.