Should I Accept the Settlement Offer from My Insurance Company?
The short answer is no. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, so their top priority is not to put money in your pocket, but to pay out as little as possible. This is why it is nearly always true that the first offer from your insurer is very likely a lowball figure.
At PKSD Law, we help injured victims negotiate a fair compensation for their injuries after a car crash. Call our office to schedule a free, no-obligation auto accident consultation with one of our trusted Milwaukee car accident lawyers. If we represent you, we charge no fees for our services unless we win a verdict or settlement for you.
Can You Still Recover Damages if You Reject the Insurance Company’s Offer?
Absolutely. Insurance companies take advantage of the cloud of mystery that surrounds the car accident claims process. Accident victims who may still be in shock and are at home recovering from their injuries may be caught off-guard and agree to something they do not fully understand.
Here are some important facts to know about your insurance company’s settlement offer:
- Saying yes to the first offer will not speed up the claims process
- Saying no to the first offer will not prevent you from recovering damages for your injuries
- When the offer is too low, you can say no and send a counteroffer
- You can politely refuse to speak to your insurance company until after you have consulted with an attorney
- It is best to wait to negotiate a settlement until you have completed your treatments and your attorney can evaluate your claim to include compensation for all of the damages you incurred
- Insurance companies know you may be tempted by the offer if your medical bills are mounting and creating a financial burden
- Your insurance company is hoping that you have not called an attorney yet, have little experience with car accident claims and that you are desperate to get money now, even if it is far less than your claim is worth
Remember, the insurance company will make an offer that is in their best interest, not yours. They want you to settle the claim quickly, but their offer will not fully compensate you for your damages, leaving you with other out-of-pocket expenses to cover on your own.
While no attorney can guarantee an outcome, hiring an attorney to represent your best interests, handle your negotiations and protect the full value of your claim can make a significant difference in the amount of compensation you receive.
Why You Should Speak to an Attorney First
When you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, it comes with a binding agreement. In exchange for the offered compensation, you agree to release the company from any further liability. This means you cannot go back and ask for more money later.
This is problematic because:
- All injuries are not straightforward and some may take days to weeks or longer to appear
- If you sign a settlement offer, you have no way of requesting compensation for an injury that shows itself later on because of the liability release
- The initial offer may not fully cover your injuries or other future treatments you may require
Our attorneys at PKSD Law handle personal injury claims every day and have extensive knowledge of Wisconsin laws as well as the tactics an insurance company may use to reduce the value of your claim. Additionally, if a settlement cannot be reached, our lawyers are prepared to go to trial on your behalf.
What an Attorney Considers when Calculating Fair Compensation
If you do not have an in-depth understanding of the law or how attorneys evaluate a claim, you could be missing out on valuable compensation that can help you to cover damages you suffered in the accident.
When calculating the value of your claim, your attorney will consider many factors to help him or her achieve accurate and fair compensation. These damages could include compensation for:
- Past, present and future medical expenses
- Medication prescriptions
- Related and reasonable transportation costs
- Vehicle repairs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Replacement services to help with household tasks during your recovery
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional and psychological injuries
Contact Our Attorneys for Assistance with Your Claim
If you were injured due to another’s negligence, we encourage you to contact our experienced lawyers at PKSD. We welcome the opportunity to review your claim, answer your questions and talk about your legal options.
We offer a car accident consultation that is completely free. Schedule yours today to learn how we may be able to assist with your claim. We charge no money for our services unless we first recover a settlement for you.