March 15, 2015 • Legal Terminology
When you file a personal injury lawsuit for claiming compensation for your losses and injuries you have suffered in an accident, usually the insurance company has to make the payment, since the defendant will have insurance coverage. For the insurance company paying claims and settlements are losses, and therefore they will do everything in their power to either reduce the claim or not pay at all.
Quick Settlement Offer
One of the strategies used by the insurance companies to save them thousands of dollars is to get victims like you to settle your personal injury accident claim prematurely before the extent of your injuries is fully revealed and known. A representative of the insurance company will first contact you to find out:
The insurance company will want to find out all this information, because they will want to know what the risks are from a financial standpoint, and whether they will have to pay you ultimately, assuming they have liability for your injuries.
If you have a strong case and the insurance company knows that they cannot avoid liability, then they will try to limit the amount they should pay you by offering you a quick settlement. The logic of this strategy is that the victim will be under financial constraint after an accident since he will be paying his medical bills and losing income because of his inability to attend work. When the insurance company offers settlement money, it is a welcome respite for the victim from the financial burden.
The Worst Mistake You can Make is to Accept such an Offer
However, this quick settlement offer is always much less than what your case is worth. The insurance company will want you to accept their offer, so that they can close the case and not pay you a higher amount later for what your case is actually worth.
When the liability is clear, and there are documented damages and injuries, the insurance company will simply cut a check, without even being asked. They do this in the hope that you will see the check, take it, sign for it, and cash it. Once you have done that you are effectively giving up your right to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for more money than what the insurance company has offered you.
One of the ways insurance companies saves money, by settling your case early and even without you asking them for a dime. However, accepting the first settlement offer is a big mistake. You do not even know the full extent of your injuries.
If You Put Ink to Paper, there is no Turning Back
You do not know whether there is any permanent damage or whether you will need surgery or therapy in the future. Just because you see a nice check in front of you, you do not want to speculate on so many variables and matters that at that point you may not be able to control. The best course of action would be to consult an experienced accident attorney and to know the true value of your case.