When Should I Accept an Insurance Offer After an Injury?
If you are suddenly injured in an accident, it can be difficult to know what to do. Insurance adjusters may call to ask questions and even offer you a certain amount of money for your injuries. As you stare at your piles of medical bills, it can be tempting to immediately accept the payment offered by the insurance company. This is usually a mistake, however, unless you have had an experienced personal injury attorney carefully review your losses and the settlement offer.
Offers Are Usually Inadequate
When insurance adjusters call, they may seem like they only have your best interests in mind. However, they first and foremost work for the insurance company, which is a business that values its profits more than almost everything else. Part of their job is to investigate a situation to limit the policyholder’s liability as much as possible. This means that they are generally not willing to offer the full amount you deserve up front—and the first offer can be extremely low.
In addition, many injured accident victims are not aware of the full value of their claims. It can be easy to hand over the medical bills you have received—but have you considered all of your various losses? Many people fail to consider every copay from a doctor’s visit or the price of each medication purchased, all of which are recoverable damages.
You may not realize the extent of the treatments you may need in the future. If your physical therapy will go on for months after the settlement, you should estimate the cost of that ongoing treatment and seek recovery for those future losses. However, an insurance company may require proof that your estimates, which may need to come from a medical expert, are accurate. Many people, though, fail to even consider future costs.
The main reason you should realize that an insurance offer is likely insufficient is that once you accept an offer, you cannot go back later and request more once you realize you have additional losses. Accepting an offer almost always involves waiving your right to seek more compensation stemming from that incident.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A skilled personal injury lawyer may accurately value your claim and provide evidence of your past and future losses. When you do receive an offer, your attorney will closely review it and advise you about whether it is too low. If it is low—which is likely—your lawyer can negotiate for the offer you deserve. He can also identify when insurance coverage will not cover your losses and when you should instead pursue a personal injury claim in court.
Consult With a New London, Connecticut, Personal Injury Attorney Today
It is important to discuss your rights and options with a personal injury law firm before you sign anything or make any decisions regarding a settlement offer after an accident. Polito & Associates LLC represents clients in the Waterford and New London areas, and can help you recover after a personal injury. Call our office at (860) 447-3300 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.