In the aftermath of a car accident or other serious injury caused by the negligence of another, the pressure of unexpected medical and other bills causes many people to simply accept the first offer an insurance company gives them to settle their case. The thought here is of “just getting it over” or getting back to normal and putting the accident behind you as soon as possible.
While the emotion is completely understandable, if you have serious injuries, dealing with the insurance company without being represented by experienced counsel and accepting their first offer too soon is going to have serious consequences.
And they will rarely be good ones.
Think Before You Accept
Here are a few things you should consider if you are thinking about accepting an insurance company’s first offer to you to settle your case.
- A Quick Settlement Benefits Only the Insurance Company
When faced with serious injuries and mounting medical bills, it can be tempting to accept an insurance company’s first settlement offer. But you must keep in mind that insurance companies are only interested in two things:
- making money, and
- paying as little as possible on any insurance claim so they can achieve item number one.
Insurance companies make money by paying as little as possible (or nothing at all) on claims because they earn interest on the money they keep. So, as far as the insurance company is concerned, the faster they can settle a claim, the better.
Quick settlements generally mean that the insurance company got a bargain.
- Settlements are Final.
Another point to consider before settling with an insurance company is that whatever you agree upon is final.
When you sign a settlement agreement, you are signing a legally binding document.
Your settlement agreement will contain a liability release which will specify that the insurance company will not be responsible for paying you anything other than the agreed upon settlement amount.
What this means to you is that if for any reason it turns out that you incur future expenses— if your injuries turn out to be worse than believed or complications arise and you need additional treatment or care, or it affects your job in a way you did not anticipate, for example—too bad.
You cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more money because you did not anticipate the true cost of your damages.
Once you sign the settlement agreement, it’s final. There is no going back.
- You do not have to accept the Insurance Company’s first offer.
Insurance company offers can be presented as “first and final” offers. This often pressures people into accepting the insurance company’s initial offer because they think that if they don’t, they will get nothing at all.
An offer starts the negotiation process. You may accept it or reject it. You can also make the insurance company a counter-offer.
Understanding the negotiation process and how to handle insurance companies is critical to getting the compensation you deserve.
So, don’t go it alone. Hire experienced personal injury counsel to assist you.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumming, Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in several counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.