You may receive a settlement offer from the car insurance company soon after your accident. While it may be tempting to accept the offer rather than waiting, an early settlement may not be in your best interest.
Before accepting a settlement from an insurance company, consider speaking with one of our licensed car accident lawyers in Sacramento. We offer free consultations to review your car accident claim and answer any legal questions you may have.
Insurance companies aim to reduce the amount of money they have to pay out. One tactic they use is offering a settlement early in the claims process. They know medical bills and other costly damages may make victims feel desperate for money. Insurance company representatives may seem friendly and concerned, and claim they just want to help and get you money as quickly as possible.
Accepting an early settlement can be more harmful than helpful. During the early stages of injury treatment and recovery, the extent of damages is often unknown – therefore an early settlement would not reflect the total compensation required to help the victim make a full recovery.
Typically, when you accept a settlement, you also waive your right to pursue a lawsuit against the insurer later. You may be giving up your right to pursue a lawsuit against the person who was at fault for the accident. If you later discover the settlement is far below what your claim may be worth, you may be left without options to pursue additional compensation you may need.
After a car accident, it can take time for injuries to become apparent. Adrenaline often masks injury symptoms, and some injuries do not show signs for days, weeks, or longer. As more time passes, you may be diagnosed with new injuries that were not discovered during your initial medical exam.
In the first few days or weeks after an accident, it may not be clear how extensive your injuries may be. Once treatment ends, doctors and your attorney will have a much better idea of the future care you may need. Your attorney can also evaluate how your injuries may affect your overall quality of life and ability to work.
If you are offered an early settlement, be aware that it is not your only option. You do not have to accept this settlement, and you may still be able to pursue compensation if you reject it. An early settlement should be treated as a starting point to negotiate for fair compensation for the losses you have suffered.
Before accepting an insurance settlement, consider having an experienced lawyer look it over to determine if it offers fair compensation for the damages you have incurred. If the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
Our experienced lawyers help injured victims secure maximum compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to discuss your situation with a licensed attorney. There are no upfront fees and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.