Auto Accident Injury Settlements: Should You Accept the First Offer?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get about auto accident injury settlements is should I accept my Insurance company’s first offer to settle? The quick answer is No! Unless you simply want to receive the lowest possible amount from your insurance company, you should not accept the first settlement offer that is put on the table. Why do so many victims do just this?

Sometimes, the first settlement offer is accepted out of fear that the offer will be lowered. While not impossible, this is almost never likely. Insurance companies will almost always make a low-ball offer in the beginning, hoping you will just accept it and move on. Other times, victims accept the first offer from an insurance company because they have heard stories about cases that take months or even years to settle. Generally, the first offer is accepted in an effort to avoid long wait periods and receive settlement quickly. You may just want to get it out of the way and accept the first settlement amount that is thrown at you, but it may end up costing you in the end. A personal injury attorney can help you negotiate an auto accident injury settlement you deserve.

Insurance Claims Adjusters

The job of an insurance adjuster is to settle car accident injury claims quickly with as little cost to the insurance company as possible. The adjuster is given a dollar range within which to settle the claim. It only makes sense for them to start at the lower end of the range and hope to close the case as cheaply as they can. When negotiating with a claims adjuster, you should always keep this in mind. With auto accident injury settlements, the first offer will almost always be the lowest amount they are allowed to offer you. While it may take time to negotiate and receive the settlement you need and deserve, it could end up saving you a lot of headache and extra financial burdens in the end.

Review the Claim Offer

You should never just blindly accept the first offer thrown out there. Take the necessary time needed to review the offer and determine if it is a fair amount that will adequately pay for your injuries and damages. Don’t be afraid to reject it and demand a larger settlement. Remember that the first offer is likely the lowest amount the adjuster has been allowed. Contrary to what they may try to make you believe, you have wiggle room – use it. Consult with a personal injury attorney to carefully review your case and the extent of your damages. An personal injury attorney experienced with auto accident injury settlements will help you adequately determine the amount you should settle for.

You Need To Consider Future Costs

Accepting the first offer may get you a faster settlement amount and get it out of the way, but it may end up not being enough to cover your final injury and damage costs. Many times, the first offer will be made before you have really had time to access your total costs.

Your injuries may be more extensive than you first realize. You may initially think your healing time will be brief or no further treatment is necessary. However, your injuries may become more complicated over time. The full extent of some injuries may not become evident for months. You may find that more treatment, or even surgery, is required. If you have already settled with the insurance company, you cannot recover any further funds. This means any expenses and burdens that go beyond the settlement amount will come out of your own pocket.

These may include:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Surgery
  • Medical treatment
  • Physical therapy
  • Loss of income

It is always a smart idea to wait to settle with the insurance company until you have a decent grasp on the full extent of your injuries and the treatment that will be necessary. You should also keep in mind that any further treatments, surgeries, or hospital stays will require you to take extra time off from work and may result in a loss of income. Additionally, if you jump to take the first low-ball offer from the claims adjuster, you may miss the opportunity to recover damages for pain and suffering.

Getting Help with Auto Accident Injury Settlements

If you have been injured in an auto accident, always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before settling with the insurance company. David & Philpot, P.L. has been helping car crash victims for over 20 years. We’re well aware of the tactics insurance adjusters use to reduce your claim amount and know what it takes to counter those tactics. We will not only help you determine what settlement amount is fair, but will fight and negotiate to ensure you recover adequate finances to cover the extent of damages and personal injury expenses. Contact us today at 800.360.7015 for a free, no obligation consultation about your case.