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What to Do if You Receive a Settlement Offer from an Insurance Company

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offer and the consequences of accepting one too early.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Denver also means you have a professional on your side who knows the value of your damages. Someone who assertively fights to get you the compensation you deserve.

Considering A Settlement Offer from An Insurance Company?

Getting an offer from the insurance company after a vehicle accident can be a decisive moment. It indicates the start of the negotiation process and raises vital questions:

  • Should I accept it?
  • Is the offer fair?
  • What are your rights in this situation?

There are critical steps to take when you get a settlement offer from the insurance company, to help you make informed decisions and secure a fair settlement.

Understand the Offer

Upon getting an offer, thoroughly review the details. The insurance company usually offers a settlement amount they deem appropriate to pay for your damages. This offer could include compensation for:

  • Vehicle damages
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages

It’s vital to assess whether the offer sufficiently takes into account your needs and losses resulting from the collision.

Before Accepting the Offer, Consider These Factors

The settlement agreement you accept releases all parties from all unknown and known damages.

Meaning, you cannot file a lawsuit to get damages. You can’t ask for more money because you found out you have a permanent injury you didn’t know about when you signed the settlement agreement. Even if the settlement offer is way below the actual value of your claim, you are bound by the terms of the agreement.

Before accepting the settlement offer, have a car accident lawyer examine your case and the offer. An attorney can analyze your case honestly and tell you whether the offer is fair or extremely low.

What Rejecting a Settlement Offer Means

Insurance companies will suggest that settlement offers are “take it or leave it” agreements. It seems that if a victim rejects the proposal, the victim will get nothing. This is incorrect.

Knowledgeable and experienced Denver personal injury lawyers know that a settlement offer is the start of negotiations with the insurance company and not the end. Most insurance companies aim to spend as little money and time as possible on every accident claim. Fast settlements help accomplish this goal.

However quick settlements are frequently unfair for accident victims since the value of most accident claims is way higher than the beginning settlement offers.

An accident victim may make a counteroffer to the insurance company or reject the claim. When an experienced Denver auto accident lawyer represents an accident victim, the insurance company understands that the case could go to trial, which is costly for the insurance company. Insurance companies are encouraged to make fair settlement offers when an accident victim knows the claims process, and the value of the case, and is willing to go to trial.

Settlement Agreements are Final

Settlement agreements include a release of liability, meaning the insurance company isn’t responsible for any payments outside of the settlement offer. The victim can’t come back later and ask for more money. Furthermore, the victim can’t take the case to court.

This is correct even if the injuries or damage turn out to be more severe than first thought if unpredicted complications arise, or if the victim didn’t realize the total value of the claim. For an accident victim, a lack of complete information is one of the critical dangers of a fast settlement.

Evaluate The Offer Accurately

When evaluating the offer, it’s important to consider numerous factors. First, analyze the coverage for medical bills, guaranteeing it includes all bills related to the accident, both current and estimated future therapies or medications.

Next, consider lost wages. If the incident caused the victim to miss work, the offer should include these earnings and projected future income losses, especially if your injuries affect your earning ability. Last, if there was vehicle damage, verify that the settlement offer includes the costs for vehicle repairs or replacement, covering any additional costs linked to the collision.

Injuries Could Be More Serious

The complete extent of injuries from an accident might not be known for a long time after the collision. There may be numerous reasons for this, including:

  • The injuries need more therapies than anticipated
  • The lacerations aren’t healing as expected
  • Complications develop
  • Secondary infections progress

Accident victims must know how injuries will affect their quality of life before agreeing to a settlement. They should also know what outpatient care or treatment will be necessary because of the accident.

These factors are typically known once an individual has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).  MMI means that at some point in a person’s recovery, a doctor will decide there’s nothing more that can be done to improve the patient’s condition.

Any injury lasting at that point is not anticipated to get better, meaning it is probably a permanent condition. Accident victims should not accept settlement offers before reaching MMI since the complete impact of their injuries isn’t yet known.

Get Compensation for Non-Economic Damages

Most auto accident victims know that they can recoup compensation for their economic damages such as medical expenses, loss of wages, and out-of-pocket costs.

However, they may not know that they can get compensation for non-economic damages. Even if they realize they can ask for these damages, they may be uncertain how to value non-economic damages.

These damages are subjective because every auto victim suffers differently. Your life before the incident and your diagnosis are factors in assessing pain and suffering. Non-economic damages include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental distress
  • A reduction in the quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Impairments and disabilities
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Many accident victims devalue damages for their pain and suffering. The insurance adjuster understands that most victims don’t know the calculations for these damages, so they believe that the settlement offer is substantial or the greatest amount an individual can get for the claim.

Respond Strategically

After carefully reviewing the settlement and consultation with a Denver personal injury lawyer, you have three viable options:

First, you can accept the settlement offer if it satisfactorily covers all your losses and is considered fair. At this point, the case ends, and you receive the agreed settlement amount.

On the other hand, if you believe the offer is lacking, your lawyer can introduce a counteroffer, indicating your willingness to negotiate and perhaps pave the way for a more lucrative resolution.

Lastly, if the offer is considerably insufficient and negotiations aren’t delivering a resolution, the rejection of the settlement gives the chance to pursue legal action. This entails filing a lawsuit against the responsible party, letting you get the right compensation through the legal system. These choices encourage you to make an informed decision, led by your lawyer’s knowledge, ensuring your rights are safeguarded and you get the compensation you deserve.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Personal Injury Lawyers

Seeking legal counsel is vital, particularly if the insurance company’s settlement offer seems inadequate.  A skilled personal injury lawyer can evaluate the offer’s fairness, direct you on your rights, and negotiate on your behalf.

Insurance companies usually make low first offers, hoping victims will accept without questioning. Lawyers have the experience to assess the offer as it pertains to your actual losses, guaranteeing you get compensated fairly.

Experienced attorneys are skilled negotiators. They know insurance adjusters’ tactics and can negotiate on your behalf. Their negotiation skills could get you a considerably higher settlement offer, making sure you aren’t being undercompensated. Insurance companies might use different tactics to reduce payouts including encouraging victims to settle immediately, downplaying the extent of any injuries, and disputing liability.

A car accident attorney functions as a protector, guaranteeing you aren’t taken advantage of and safeguarding your rights. They manage all communication with the insurance company, sheltering you from undue stress.

Before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company, let Lampert and Walsh review the offer to ensure it is a fair amount. Contact our Denver law firm to schedule your free case evaluation.

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