Should I Accept My Insurance Company’s First Offer?
Dealing with insurance companies after an accident is difficult. Victims are constantly on edge, wondering if the payout will be enough to cover their present needs as well as offset their recent losses.
Meanwhile, hospital bills are coming in, the mortgage payment is due, and an ever-dwindling bank account to cover these expenses.
Insurance companies know how vulnerable you are and may take advantage of your precarious financial situation by offering you a settlement that is much less than what you are rightfully entitled to receive.
Their first offer can seem enticing when money is tight. But should you accept it? As a general rule, no– you should be skeptical of that first offer. While every case is different, you will likely get more with the aid of a qualified attorney.
Why accepting the first offer can backfire
Insurance companies are most interested in protecting their bottom line, and that means paying out as little as possible on car accident and personal injury claims. That first offer is a lowball payout— an easy way for companies to close a claim quickly and with the least amount of financial exposure.
It may be tempting to cash that check, but by doing so, you are legally waiving your rights to pursuing further compensation through the legal system. That also means you will be barred from filing a lawsuit
There is no turning back after you sign on the dotted line. If you suffered serious injuries that will require ongoing rehabilitation and medical care, this doesn’t bode well for your future.
Negotiating for a fair settlement
Having a trusted attorney is always in your best interest. They will collect the necessary evidence to advance your case and negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf.
In addition, your injury claim will be taken more seriously when the insurance company knows you cannot be railroaded into accepting a minimum offer.
Wait for maximum medical improvement
Another reason to not take the first offer is that some injuries are not evident in the first weeks of the accident. They may take longer to manifest, as well as recover from– or leave you with long-term complications or disability.
All of the above needs to be factored into the compensation you are seeking.
You are encouraged to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement before accepting a settlement offer in writing. In this way, you and your attorney will have a more accurate calculation of all expenses, income loss, and other damages sustained.
Remember that the initial settlement offer is just a bargaining chip. Accidents can have a host of devastating physical and emotional repercussions, and it may take months to identify the true extent of your losses, and the impact on your quality of life.
Additional treatments and expenses can creep up, which is why your attorney will be sure to properly assess a dollar figure for all past, current, and anticipated losses, such as:
- Physical therapy
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Our dedicated lawyers protect your best interests throughout the insurance claim process and can help you achieve the best settlement offer.
Get the money you deserve
If you have been injured in a vehicle accident caused by another person’s negligence, you deserve to be reimbursed for all current and future medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.
To secure a fair settlement, you need a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer who knows how to value claims and maximize your recovery.
We are a plaintiffs-only law firm with proven expertise getting car and truck accident victims the settlement money they deserve.
Contact us today
If your medical expenses exceed the policy limit or the insurance company decides to play hardball, our lawyers are prepared to take the matter before a jury on your behalf.
Text or call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.