What Should I Do When My Car Insurance Offers Me a Settlement?

Maxwell Paderewski
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Maxwell Paderewski
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10.0Maxwell Teele Paderewski
State Bar of Texas
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When you are involved in a car accident, you will likely face major economic setbacks arising from the injuries sustained and property damage to your vehicle. You may have a lot of things running through your mind, but at the end of the day, making a claim with your automobile insurance company will be inevitable. During the treatment process for your injuries, medical bills may pile up. Additionally, while you are concentrating on regaining your health, you may have to spent time away from work. This means that you may have less income at the end of the month. In this case, you may have to depend on the help of friends and family, and you may find yourself reaching into your savings account just to clear pending medical bills.

When The Insurance Company Calls

At some point, you may receive a call from the insurance adjuster from the negligent driver who hit you, offering you a check to compensate you for your injuries. What they will not explain is that the insurance company will be trying to maximize their profits by minimizing the settlement they offer you. Despite having no fault for the accident, receiving a full and fair compensation for the actual harm and damages suffered may be a daunting task. Often, insurance companies will delay and deny you a reasonable offer—especially if they know you do not have an attorney yet—hoping that you will accept their terms without doing any further research. They may take advantage of the fact that you are facing a financial deficit depending on the severity of and treatment for your injuries. However, this should not compel you to accept your insurer’s settlement offer.

The insurance company may even entice you by asking you to make a counter offer. They already have their limits on what they are allowed to offer, and if you counter with a number under that limit, you may end up walking away with much less than the fair value for your case. For example, they can offer a settlement worth $1000, while your actual worth could be to the tune of $10000. As such, you will be tempted to bargain your way through by making a counter offer for $2000. In your eyes, you will have won, but in the hearts of your insurance company, that moment will be worth $8000 in savings to them. Therefore, accepting your insurer’s first offer will not be a sound idea, and in most cases, the second or third offer will also be less than the fair value of your case. The insurance company’s offer may not take into account your full medical bills, total pain and suffering you’ve endured or will endure, or your lost wages. To mitigate such an occurrence, it is advisable to seek legal help from experienced personal injury lawyers.

Factors to Consider in Evaluating Your Own Case

When deciding whether to accept the offer or not, you should also consider the whether the settlement will subject you to more emotional and financial stress. You could be fighting with yourself about the offer, feeling the urge to accept their terms, no matter how small they could be. But before adding your signature to the settlement agreement, you should compare the amount brought to the table by the insurance company with the total economic you’ve incurred. If their bargain is much lower than what you actually spent in treatment costs, lost wages, and property damage, you have a good reason to shoot down their bid to settle you. Additionally, the insurance company should compensate you for the non-economic damages of pain and suffering you’ve endured. Apart from comparing the two aspects of costs, you should also demand for a detailed report from the insurer adjuster on how they analyzed your claim, and how they arrived at the figure offered.

If you feel that the offer meets your needs, nothing can hold you back accepting the offer and getting a check in the mail. You will be expected to send a written acceptance letter that explains that you are forfeiting your right to pursue a legal claim. If you refuse to accept their settlement offer, the insurance company will likely wait for the statute of limitation to expire on your case, or to receive a formal demand from your lawyer. In this case, you will require the services of a dedicated and experienced lawyer to help you manage the stress that comes with an insurance company that is unwilling to offer you what is rightfully yours.

How Can A Lawyer Help?

A lawyer from Lone Star Injury Attorneys can help you demand for a higher settlement based on the injuries you’ve sustained and the proper value of your case. Our experienced attorney understand the value of injury cases and what a judge or jury is likely to award in court. As you can imagine, many of the insurance companies take advantage of injured claimants who do not understand the true value of an average personal injury case. This is why you require a steadfast attorney who will dedicate themselves to having you receive the most for your case. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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