Before making any decisions, speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney to see if the settlement is fair and whether you may be entitled to more than you were offered.
It’s only natural to want this entire ordeal to end as soon as possible. So, when the insurance adjuster surprises you with a settlement offer soon after the claim was filed, you may be inclined to take it. However, you generally should not. Here are some of the main reasons why.
1. The First Offer Is Usually Not the Best Offer
For you, it’s personal: the car accident caused you pain and suffering, and you want to hold the responsible party accountable and cover your costs. However, for the insurance adjuster, it’s business.
Because of that, their main goal is to save the company money, which in turn means offering you the lowest settlement they can. So, even if the insurance company may authorize a higher amount, the adjuster will first present the lowest sum they think you’d accept, just to save the company money.
This is one of the main reasons why you shouldn’t accept the first offer and rush into the settlement. The amount you’re set to receive isn’t equal to what you deserve.
2. Some Injuries May Not Show Signs Yet
Insurance companies want to settle these claims as quickly as they can, and as close to the accident possible. This way, they can pay for the costs of evident medical injuries (such as fractures, for instance,) and disregard other, more complex ones known to appear later on like soft-tissue injuries, which can also require more expensive treatment.
Even if you see medical bills piling up, it’s vital not to accept any settlement until you have the full scope of your medical state. Ask your doctor about any possible long-term side effects the injuries may have, as they should also be reflected in the damages you receive.
3. They Don’t Want You to Get a Lawyer
Insurance companies can come out as very sympathetic to your condition and appear as if they are there to help you get through this difficult time. And that may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that they prefer to speed up the process so that you don’t get a lawyer.
Sadly, many people don’t work with a lawyer because they don’t want to pay for their fees. In the long run, this can hurt you, because a good St. Louis auto accident attorney can generally negotiate a much higher settlement and usually works on a contingency fee, meaning they don’t get paid unless they get you compensation. The insurance company doesn’t want you to know this.
What Should You Do?
If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, it is generally not in your best interests to accept the first offer from the insurance company. Before making any decisions, speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney to see if the settlement is fair and whether you may be entitled to more than you were offered. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE consultation.