What Should I Do if the Insurance Company Offers Me a Settlement After My Accident?

It’s a truism that no one enjoys dealing with insurance companies. But if you think that dealing with your own auto insurance company gives you frequent headaches, you likely will discover that dealing with someone else’s auto insurance company can raise your headache level to migraine status. This is especially true if you become involved in an accident in which you sustain injuries, as a personal injury lawyer, like from Davis & Brusca, can explain.

While it’s true that the other driver is responsible for paying your medical and other expenses resulting from the accident, assuming that he or she caused it, his or her insurance company likely will go to great lengths to keep the amount they pay you as low as possible.

Initial Settlement Offer

Do not be surprised to receive a phone call from the other driver’s insurance company within a few days of your accident. This call may even come while you’re still in the hospital receiving treatment and beginning your recovery process. You’re consequently concerned about paying the medical bills you’re quickly racking up, which puts you in a vulnerable position vis a vis the insurance company.

When the company offers you a “quick settlement,” its adjusters – and attorneys – know how vulnerable you are. They therefore almost invariably offer you a lowball settlement, knowing that, at this point, any amount likely looks good to you.

Your Wisest Response

Do not fall for this tactic. You are under no obligation whatsoever to accept the offer. In fact, your best interests dictate that you obtain the caller’s contact information only. Do not answer any questions, and do not agree to give a recorded statement or sign any papers. Instead, inform the caller that you’re considering contacting a personal injury attorney and that that person will return the call in a few days.

Follow Through

Then follow through. It’s easy for you, or one of your family members on your behalf if you’re too injured to do your own research, to find experienced local personal injury attorneys online. Several of them likely not only offer free initial consultations, but also will come to the hospital to meet with you. You risk nothing by scheduling one or more of these meetings.

Legal Representation Advantages

If you decide to hire one of these attorneys, tell him or her about the call you got from the other driver’s insurance company, the amount of the settlement offer and the caller’s contact information. Keep in mind that once you hire an attorney, the insurance company must communicate with you through him or her, not with you directly. This alone saves you a great deal of hassle so you can concentrate on getting better.

In addition, your attorney stands a better chance than you do of negotiating a fair and equitable settlement. Why? Because, just like the insurance company’s attorneys, your attorney knows about settlement negotiations and what needs to be presented so as to convince the other side to increase their offer.