Filing a personal injury claim can be a lot of work. Not only are you dealing with physical recovery, but you’re handling insurance calls and medical record-keeping to make sure a great case is made for your claim. Then you finally receive the settlement offer. What should you do to make sure it’s everything you need it to be?
Assess the Timeframe
The first thing to look at is the amount of time that has passed since you filed the claim. If you filed a few days ago and insurance is already coming back with an offer, something may be up. Agencies sometimes try to lowball people in hopes they’ll take the offer, even though it is not enough to cover their injury costs. If you accept a low offer, you cannot go back to get more later. Even if you are desperate for money immediately, taking an offer so soon may not be in your future interests.
Check the Amount
Whether you’ve waited a few days or several months to receive an offer, always double-check how much it’s for. The insurance company may try to offer lower than what you’ve asked for, but you don’t need to take it. You have the right to fight for the compensation that covers all your costs, no matter the amount, so don’t accept an offer that isn’t enough.
Consult With Your Lawyer
Talking to your lawyer about an offer is always a good idea. Your lawyer has the experience and knowledge with personal injury cases to know whether the amount you’ve been offered is fair. They can tell you if it’s acceptable to refuse it and negotiate for more, or if it’s wise to take it. Consult with them for this and any other big questions you have.
You are not obligated to take the first offer from insurance, as the lawyers at Cohen & Cohen explain. If it’s too low or you feel it’s unfair considering your circumstances, you have the power to negotiate. Some people don’t feel comfortable negotiating or speaking to insurance on their own, and hiring a lawyer is always plausible in these cases. You should get the most out of an unfortunate situation that has severely impacted your life.
You can often find lawyers who deal strictly in personal injury cases to help guide your claim. Talk to one to see how much you should ask for in your claim and what to accept in a settlement when the time finally comes.