Whether or not you should accept a quick settlement from an insurance company depends on various factors. It’s important to carefully consider your situation and the terms of the settlement before making a decision and seriously think about hiring an attorney to help you evaluate them. Here are some things to think about according to a car accident lawyer with our friends at Kiefer & Kiefer:
Assess Your Injuries and Damages: First, make sure you fully understand the extent of your injuries and the total damages you’ve incurred. Some injuries may not fully manifest until later, so it’s important to have a clear picture of your medical condition and property damage.
Policy Limits: Be aware of the insurance policy limits. If your damages exceed these limits, accepting a quick settlement may not be in your best interest. An attorney can help you determine if the offer is fair based on these limits.
Future Expenses: Consider any future medical expenses or ongoing treatment you may require. If you settle too quickly, you might not receive adequate compensation for these costs.
Liability: Ensure that the insurance company acknowledges liability on the part of their policyholder. If they don’t, accepting a settlement might be admitting fault or responsibility. If you share some responsibility for the accident, the settlement amount might be reduced accordingly. Consider the impact of comparative fault on your settlement.
Negotiation Room: Quick settlements may offer less compensation than you might receive through negotiation or legal action. Insurance companies often offer low initial settlements in the hope that claimants will accept them to resolve the matter quickly. You may have room to negotiate for a better offer.
Time Constraints: Some insurance companies may impose time constraints on accepting settlements. Be aware of any deadlines and consider whether they allow you sufficient time to assess your damages and consult with professionals.
Emotional State: The emotional impact of an accident can cloud judgment. Take your time to make an informed decision, and don’t let pressure or emotions push you into a hasty settlement.
In many cases, it’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offer. They can help you understand your rights, assess the fairness of the offer, and negotiate on your behalf. Keep in mind that once you accept a settlement and sign a release, you typically cannot reopen the case, so it’s essential to make an informed decision. Even if you feel extremely secure and happy with the settlement, it is best to have a legal professional review all the documentation associated with your case to ensure it is fair — there may be things in the fine print that you are not aware of which a lawyer will be able to catch.
Reach out to an attorney located near you to set up a consultation so that they can review the settlement and represent you if it is not fair or if you need to renegotiate it. A legal professional will be there with you every step of the way.