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Representing Accident & Injury Victims

Handling Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and
Criminal Defense Cases

ATTORNEY MATTHEW C. HINES

Representing Accident & Injury Victims

Handling Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and Criminal Defense Cases

ATTORNEY MATTHEW C. HINES

Why You Should Never Accept the First Offer from an Insurance Company

Why You Should Never Accept the First Offer from an Insurance Company

Personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines understand the tricks and tactics insurance companies and adjusters use to reduce the payout on personal injury claims. Our goal is to help accident victims receive the maximum compensation allowed by Atlanta personal injury law.

The truth is that filing an insurance claim and recovering compensation after an accident can be complex and confusing. From trying to navigate the claims process to showing evidence to prove their damages, accident victims are often on edge and stressed about getting the funds needed to cover their bills and daily living costs. If the process continues to drag on, any offer from the insurance company will likely be appealing.

If the insurance company presents an initial offer for a few thousand dollars, it may look great when you have bills piling up and no income coming in. However, you need to be careful when it comes to the first offer made by an insurance company. You can almost bet this is a “lowball” offer that won’t come close to covering all your accident-related costs.

Accepting this offer also means you sign a waiver that prohibits you from filing a lawsuit or getting any other type of compensation. This can cause issues in the future.

Understanding your rights and how insurance companies work will help you know when to accept an offer and when to wait for a better one. It’s also recommended that you work with our personal injury lawyers from The Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines.

Keep reading to find out more about why it’s not a good idea to accept the first offer made by an insurance company after an accident.

Related Article: 8 TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT DRIVERS’ INSURANCE

The Top Reasons to Never Accept a First Settlement Offer from an Insurance Company

After an accident, any settlement offer can be appealing. However, don’t act too quickly and sell yourself short. Some of the reasons to avoid accepting a first settlement offer can be found here.

The Insurance Adjuster Isn’t Looking Out for Your Best Interests

The priority of an insurance adjuster is to help the company they work for save money. The best way to do this is by minimizing accident settlement payouts. This will not align with your priorities, which are to receive a fair amount of compensation for your injuries and damages.

Remember, insurance companies are for-profit. Every interaction and offer they make is focused on preserving their bottom line. Be sure that you are careful about what you say when speaking to insurance adjusters and talk to personal injury lawyers before deciding to accept or deny a settlement offer.

Your Accident May Have Caused Hidden Damages or Injuries

When an insurance company makes a settlement offer, the value will be for what is known at that time. With extensive damage or injuries, there will probably be some unknowns involved.

Some injuries can even take weeks or longer to show symptoms. If you accept the insurance company’s first offer soon after the accident, it will not reflect the full value of your case (in most cases).

Your Injuries Aren’t Fully Healed

If your accident caused a serious injury, such as a TBI (traumatic brain injury), it could take longer to determine the amount of compensation you will need for ongoing and future medical care. Because of this, it may be necessary to wait before you accept a settlement offer to figure out how much money you will need.

The Offer Doesn’t Account for Pain and Suffering

When the insurer presents you with an initial settlement offer, it will likely reflect basic expenses at a minimal cost. In most cases, settlement offers at this point don’t account for your pain and suffering or the emotional or mental impact the accident had on you. If you suffered a lot because of your injuries and still deal with pain, phobia, anxiety, or depression, then you need to ensure the settlement offer accounts for this.

After You Accept a Settlement, You Lose Your Right to Sue

After signing the settlement agreement, it means you no longer have the right to sue. An insurer has no incentive to even offer a settlement if you could sue after signing it. In some cases, it will be better to go to court and have the case decided than to accept a settlement offer that doesn’t account for all your injury-related costs and damages.

The personal injury lawyers you hire will make sure to include this in their negotiations. With their help, you will have a better chance of receiving a fair offer that accounts for all your injuries and losses.

You Can Likely Get a Higher Settlement Offer

It’s rare that the first offer from an insurance company will be a fair amount of compensation for the property damage and personal injuries you suffered. When you hire experienced personal injury lawyers, they will negotiate a higher settlement offered based on your injuries and damages.

Related Article: UNDERSTANDING UIM, MEDPAY INSURANCE AND UM

Determining the True Value of Your Injuries

Before deciding if you should accept a settlement offer, it’s important to get a general estimate of what your injuries are worth. For some injury-related costs, determining the value is simple. This can be determined by bills, receipts, and pay stubs.

Your attorney can add up your medical costs, lost wages, repairs to your personal property, and rehabilitation costs to determine the total value of your economic damages. While the insurance adjuster will likely add up these costs, too, you should never trust their calculations alone.

You may also be eligible to receive non-economic damages. These are harder to calculate than economic damages but should still be accounted for in a settlement offer. Some of the types of non-economic damages your accident may qualify you to receive include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of future earning capacity

These are all considered intangible losses. Since there’s no specific dollar amount to account for like there is with medical bills, your attorney can use other accident and injury-related evidence to figure out the value of your non-economic damages.

There are some insurance companies that will use a multiplier method to determine non-economic damage amounts. Unfortunately, this method may undervalue what you deserve considerably. This is especially the case if you have a more serious injury with a long-term impact on your life. You should never rely on the insurance company when it comes to valuing your case and what damages you deserve.

Remember, each accident and injury case is unique. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to analyze the circumstances of your case to figure out how much compensation you deserve. With this analysis, your attorney will determine a settlement amount that will provide you with fair compensation for the losses and injuries you suffered.

Related Article: WHAT IS THE TIMELINE OF A PERSONAL INJURY CASE? 

Don’t Wait to Hire Personal Injury Lawyers for Help with Accident Settlement Offers

As you can see from the information above, insurance companies are going to do anything they can to get you to accept a low offer for your claim. It’s best to work with an attorney from The Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines to ensure you only accept an offer that accurately represents your losses and costs.

The first step in this process is to call our offices to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. We can review the facts of your case and begin working to determine its true value. We are here to represent your rights.

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