Why Shouldn’t I Accept the Auto Insurer’s First Settlement Offer?
When the insurer offers you a settlement after a car crash, you may want to start celebrating. After all, you got what you wanted, right? Not necessarily. (Go here for examples:[dcl=6677])
Insurers have all sorts of tricky tactics up their sleeves, and one of of those tricks is to make you a lowball settlement offer right out of the gate. Here’s why you shouldn’t accept it and what you should do instead.
Don’t Accept a Quick Settlement
If you are speaking to an insurance company without a [dcl=6677], they are likely to offer you a quick settlement in order to avoid paying a larger amount down the road. If you have not had the advice of a lawyer and don’t have one present, insurance adjusters see this as an opportunity to get away with paying you less than what a lawyer could get with a strong case. If you accept this check, you waive the right to make a claim in the future, even if you would have had a very strong case and were entitled to a large sum.
The bottom line is don’t ever take a quick settlement after a car accident. You may not yet know the extent of the damages to your car or yourself. Sometimes, symptoms of injuries don’t appear until later, and until you know the full extent of any property damage, damage to your vehicle, and injuries sustained, you cannot possibly know what kind of compensation you are entitled to. The only way to know this for sure is to hire an experienced injury lawyer who will build you a strong case and fight for the maximum compensation to cover any vehicle damage, medical treatment, pain and suffering, and lost wages due to missed time from work.