5 Reasons Why Accepting a Settlement Offer Too Soon After an Accident is a Bad Idea

June 9, 2021

If you were injured in an accident, you may need a settlement to be paid quickly. You are racking up costs, including medical bills, rehabilitation, medication, transportation, and you may be unable to work – and that’s just the beginning. After a serious injury, you could be unable to work for weeks, months, or longer. During your recovery, it is almost impossible to put much thought to the legal factors in your case. You may be recovering in a hospital, in a skilled nursing facility, or at home. You need the settlement money, but accepting an offer too soon could be an unbelievably bad idea, for five main reasons:

1.    Insurance Companies Typically Offer Less Than is Deserved.

The insurance company making a quick settlement offer knows you need money now, and is gambling that you will accept a payout much lower than you deserve. Holding off and allowing your personal injury lawyer to press forward with negotiations on your behalf could significantly increase the amount of a settlement offer.

2.    You May Not Know the Extent of Your Injuries.

Some injuries do not immediately present symptoms. Soft tissue injuries, including sprains, strains, and contusions, as well as concussions, may take a few days or longer to become evident. Initially, you may believe you are fine. Your body’s response to danger is to release adrenaline – a natural painkiller. Within days you could find yourself immobilized with pain, unable to work, and in need of medical care. If you do not know how long your recovery will take, it is impossible to accurately value your case. If you accept an offer too soon, you could face paying for treatment out of pocket that could have been avoided.

3.    You Can’t Go Back for More.

To accept a settlement, the insurance company will require you to sign a release. This legal document makes it impossible to go back to them for more, should your injuries prove to require more than you expected. If you need surgery, the cost can range into the tens of thousands of dollars. Your settlement may not even come close to paying for the care you need, and you could be stuck with the bills.

4.    The Insurance Adjuster is not Your Friend.

You may have been relieved to receive a call from an insurance adjuster from the responsible driver’s insurance company. The adjuster will sound sympathetic and friendly, but don’t be fooled. You are far better served by having your attorney handle all communications regarding a settlement. Case in point – an insurance adjuster (who is well-trained) is not likely to offer any compensation for pain and suffering, which is often the largest portion of a settlement negotiated by a skilled personal injury lawyer!

5.    Do You Know What Your Case is Worth? Probably Not.

The damages in a car accident case should be calculated by your attorney – not the insurance company who is hoping you will accept a low-ball offer. The compensation you are entitled to likely includes paying your medical bills, cost of rehabilitation, medications, transportation, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and more personal damages, such as pain and suffering. It is very doubtful that a layperson understands how damages are calculated, and what your case is worth – don’t lose a large portion of your rightful compensation – ensure you retain a personal injury attorney as early as possible after the incident.

Why Choose Panzer Law?

At Panzer Law, we are committed to protecting the rights of the injured. We aggressively pursue the maximum compensation for the people we represent, and we take our responsibility very seriously. If we represent you, you can expect personalized, responsive service from an attorney who genuinely cares, and who is prepared to fight for full compensation for you.