If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, and attempt to handle the case on your own, you will soon deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In many cases, insurance adjusters are quick to offer a settlement. Although you are probably in a hurry to put this whole debacle behind you, accepting an offer so early on, without legal guidance, is a major error that might ultimately cost you in the future. Before you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, consult with an attorney who can evaluate your claim and provide an accurate estimate.
The Pitfalls of Accepting an Initial Offer From an Insurance Company
When the insurance company makes its initial offer, it might look like a substantial amount to you, especially if you still lack a clear idea of how long it might take for you to achieve maximum medical improvement. If it turns out that you will need extensive medical care or, worse, that you will live with permanent damage or chronic pain, the initial settlement offer will almost certainly not cover the costs of the necessary treatment.
Here are some additional reasons why you should never accept the insurance company’s first offer:
- The insurance adjuster does not have your best interests at heart: The insurance adjuster’s priority is to save the insurance company money and, unfortunately, that does not align with your priorities. Always watch what you say to the insurance adjuster and never accept an offer without speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney first.
- The offer likely does not take your pain and suffering into account: Compensation should include more than the cost of your medical expenses, property damage, missed wages, and other economic damages. Even if the settlement offer is enough to cover these losses, keep in mind that you are entitled to compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, as well.
- It is too low: Just about any initial offer made by an insurance adjuster is too low. Think of it as the starting point for negotiations instead of your only shot at obtaining money for your losses and injuries.
- You will probably get more: Most insurance companies are willing to negotiate and would rather settle out of court than go through litigation. Therefore, you can generally expect some willingness to provide a better offer during the negotiation process.
Hire a Knowledgeable Morgantown Attorney to Handle Your Claim Today!
If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident and recently began the process of filing a personal injury claim, you need experienced legal guidance on your side. At Shaffer Madia Law, our car accident attorneys have the knowledge and insight necessary to create tailored solutions to help you achieve your goals and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. No matter how complex your claim is, you can feel confident in our law firm’s ability to provide the fierce representation and advocacy you need during this challenging and painful time.