It’s very understandable for victims of a traumatic personal injury to just want to get past it and not have to deal with more unwanted disruptions that come with the whole ordeal. So when an insurance company calls quickly after to discuss a settlement offer, it’s very tempting to want to take it and move on.
But if you’ve never gone through this process before, it’s important to know the major details before signing away on a first settlement offer. In most situations, the insurance adjuster will offer a seemingly high amount of money in order to put the matter to bed and prevent you from pursuing legal action. However, it’s very important to understand that accepting this first offer means that you will not be able to collect any other recovery money in the future to pay for things like ongoing physical therapy, future surgeries or anything else that may be needed as a result of the injury. Here is why you should never immediately accept an insurance adjuster’s first offer.
Insurance Adjusters Only Offer a Fraction of Your Overall Expenses
First, it’s important to understand that an insurance adjuster’s only goal is: to save money for their company.
They will do everything possible to resolve the issue quickly, offering the least amount of money to the victim as possible. That's why it's important to avoid any initial settlement offers from insurance adjusters before speaking to an attorney first. To better understand what expenses could result from a long-term injury, here is an example:
Example 1: Auto Accident Case
In this auto accident case, our plaintiff had been in an accident where she was a passenger who was impacted twice, resulting in several fractures throughout the body. Due to the injuries sustained and the severe pain she was in, she was required to miss nearly four months of work and had accrued more than $160,000 in medical expenses.
Example 2: Premises Liability Case
In this premises liability case, our plaintiff (a grandmother) suffered from a series of injuries as a result of an oily substance on the floor of a repair shop she took her car in to be worked on. She experienced injuries, such as a tear in a tendon in her left shoulder, several disc herniations, a meniscus tear, numbness in her finger and depression. Her medical bills alone resulted in $95,000.
You May Need Long-Term Treatment
When you’ve experienced an injury, it’s nearly impossible to predict right away the treatment you’ll need to fully recover. That’s why it’s crucial to see a doctor right away after an injury.
Only with a medical assessment can you determine what types of short- and long-term treatments may be necessary for your recovery. You may need surgery, physical therapy or medication. You may need to take time off of work to focus on healing. You may need to see a psychiatrist if you’re experiencing depression as a result of your injury. The circumstances may vary, but that’s why it’s so important to been seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
You May Need to Take Time Off of Work
Although time off of work isn’t necessarily an expense, if you’re unable to make money to pay your incoming medical bills (on top of your regular bills), you’ll quickly be headed for financial disaster. Accepting a first lowball insurance settlement offer will prevent you from collecting any damages to cover you, should you need to take time off of work.
Next Steps: Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
At The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen, we’re committed to fighting for your personal injury case and getting you the most money possible. If you’ve experienced a personal injury and would like to speak to a personal injury attorney, contact us today to set up your free evaluation.