Should You Accept Your First Settlement Offer?

It may be a shock that insurance companies often try to settle a case out of court. This is because a case takes a lot of time and money, so an insurance company will try to settle before a case reaches court or a victim decides to contact a lawyer. However, just because you’ve received a settlement offer doesn’t mean it’s time to celebrate.

Unfortunately, many insurance companies will offer a settlement that doesn’t adequately cover the expenses you need. This is especially the case when you’re still receiving medical treatment. After all, you probably won’t know your total medical expenses until you’re officially released.

Reasons Why An Insurance Company Rushes A Settlement Offer

Besides taking time and money, there are other reasons why an insurance company may rush a settlement offer. These reasons might include:

  • Wanting to rush a case before a victim realizes the extent of their injuries
  • Wanting to rush a case before a victim decides to consult with a lawyer

Both of these reasons typically go hand-in-hand. An insurance company is well-armed with its own lawyers and most likely knows the law better than the average person. For example, the average person may not realize they’re entitled to compensation beyond medical bills and property damages. Insurance companies like to prey on this fact. So while a settlement may sound promising for covering your medical bills and replacing your damaged car or belongings, other forms of compensation are available. Some examples are compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • Physical therapy
  • Job rehabilitation services
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental trauma — including the development of conditions like PTSD
  • Temporary or permanent disfigurement
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Travel expenses (such as taking the bus to a physical therapy session)
  • Reduced earning power
  • And much more

How a Lawyer Can Help

As you can see, many avenues exist for seeking compensation following a personal injury. For example, insurance company initial settlements might account for medical bills, property damages, and lost wages (wholly or partially). Still, they often won’t account for other expenses, especially non-economic injuries.

There are main types of compensation following a personal injury. The first form is economic damages which account for factors like medical expenses and lost wages. These damages typically carry a specific dollar figure. Non-economic damages are much harder to calculate and account for factors like pain and suffering or mental trauma.

A lawyer can help by negotiating with the insurance companies and maximizing your compensation. While cases that only resulted in a sprained ankle or an overnight hospital visit and a scratched bumper might be quickly resolved with a claims adjuster, cases that might require a lawyer includes:

  • You’ve sustained massive injuries
  • Medical bills and other expenses are high
  • The insurance company isn’t willing to talk or is offering an inadequate offer
  • You have a permanent disability or impairment due to the injury

These are some reasons why a personal injury lawyer might be necessary. First, receiving the compensation you deserve following a personal injury case is essential. Our lawyers at David & Philpot, P.L. are eager to assist!