If you’ve been injured in a serious car accident, you know that the financial costs aren’t just limited to the loss of your vehicle. Medical bills, lost wages, and the emotional and physical toll of the accident can have long-lasting effects on the rest of your life. These high costs may cause you to think about filing a personal injury claim against the individual at fault for the accident.
After you’ve filed your claim, the other party’s insurance company will ask you questions and determine a settlement amount to offer you. In the aftermath of a stressful accident, it often seems easier to accept their first offer so you can begin to focus on your recovery. But you can stand to benefit substantially by taking your time and exploring all your options before making a final decision. The skilled attorneys at Thistle Law can help you examine all your possibilities, allowing you to focus on your mental and physical recuperation while making sure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Turning Down an Insurance Companies First Offer
In nearly all cases, you should turn down the first offer that an insurance company proposes as a settlement. The insurance agent’s job is to save their company money, and they often offer a low number to start with to leave themselves room for negotiation.
Remember, that the money you are receiving is not just to cover your current medical expenses but also:
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repairs
- Long-lasting effects from your injuries that may affect you for years
Putting a price tag on the mental, emotional, and physical toll the accident has taken on you can be difficult to do on your own, so talking to a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you put your current and future expenses into perspective. Taking the initial offer from an insurance company can cheat you out of thousands of dollars that you may be entitled to.
What if the Insurance Company Revokes Their Offer?
One reason that many people are persuaded to accept the first offer from an insurance company is that they are worried that the company will refuse to offer them any money, or drastically decrease the amount they are offering, if the offer is turned down. While anything is technically possible, it is luckily extremely unlikely that this would happen.
Insurance agents understand that car accidents are extraordinarily complicated, and that calculating the exact amount of damages can rely on a multitude of factors. Proving who is at fault, the extent of damages and injuries, calculating lost wages, all of these issues have to be provable and well documented. So the initial offer from a company is meant as an opening bid, and they usually expect that it will be challenged with a counter offer.
When to Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Remember that once you’ve signed an agreement and accepted the settlement, there is very little recourse for you to go back and ask for additional money later. So make sure you have fully healed, or have a thorough understanding of the impact your injuries will have on your life in the future, before you even begin to think about accepting a settlement offer.
You will need to gather and compile all records and reports associated with your accident and its impact on your life, a time-consuming process that becomes all the more difficult when you’re trying to recover from a serious accident. You may also need to attach a dollar value to intangible and subjective experiences such as pain and suffering caused by the accident, which can require different types of evidence like a pain journal, and witness testimony.
Ultimately, it’s always a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before talking with the insurance agency, as a skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to convince the insurance company to give you the payment you deserve. At Thistle Law, we have over 80 years of personal injury experience, and have achieved numerous recoveries in excess of $1 million across hundreds of major personal injury cases. Contact our office for a free consultation today by calling 215-525-6824 or by filling out this form.