What if I Agreed to a Car Crash Settlement Before Calling a Lawyer?
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on September 30, 2022 in Car Accidents
Injured victims who try to handle a car crash claim without legal help may end up feeling overwhelmed and being under-compensated. One prime example of how this could happen is if a crash victim verbally accepts a settlement offer before speaking with an attorney.
Are verbal agreements to a settlement legally binding? Can crash victims still negotiate for more compensation after verbally accepting an offer?
Below, PKSD explains more about what can happen if you verbally accept a settlement offer. Need legal help now? If so, we recommend contacting our law offices today to learn more.
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Is Verbal Acceptance of a Car Crash Settlement Binding?
In Wisconsin, a verbal agreement may be binding, however, it depends on the circumstances.
Insurance companies often seek out injured victims after a car crash claim and try to get them to verbally accept a quick settlement offer. Victims are vulnerable after being injured in a crash and are also often worried about the financial costs involved. This situation makes it easier for the insurance company to convince victims to take an offer. Once victims verbally accept a settlement, you can bet the official paperwork is not far behind. The insurance company will want to make sure it becomes legally binding.
That said, a verbal agreement may not always be enforceable, and a lawyer may be able to help.
Was the Conversation Recorded?
If the insurance company recorded the conversation, it could work for you or against you. The insurance company could use it as proof that you agreed to the offer and accepted it willingly. However, an attorney may be able to dispute this argument. For instance, he or she may be able to prove you were intimidated in some way or did not fully understand what you were agreeing to.
Can a Lawyer Help if You Verbally Accepted a Settlement?
Depending on how the agreement came about, our experienced auto accident lawyers in Milwaukee may be able to rescind the offer on your behalf. However, time is limited, so it is important that you act quickly and contact our law offices right away.
What if You Signed the Settlement Agreement?
If you already signed the agreement, there may not be anything your attorney can do. However, there are rare exceptions to this, such as if:
- The insurance company acted in bad faith – this could help your case but is hard to prove
- There were other parties involved in the crash – which could mean additional claims
What You Should Know Before Accepting a Settlement Offer
The most critical fact crash victims should understand is that regardless of what the insurance company says, you do not have to accept their first offer. Some other truths you should know before accepting any car crash settlement include:
- The first offer will not be the only offer you will receive
- Rejecting the first offer will not damage your ability to recover
- Any quick offer to settle will not be for the full value of your claim
- Insurers want to lock-down a quick and low settlement before you seek legal help
- You do not have to agree to a recorded statement before talking to a lawyer
Calling a lawyer immediately after your crash helps protect your legal interests. This includes your right to recover full compensation for damages you did not cause.
What is the Minimum All Car Crash Settlements Should Include?
There are certain factors that car crash victims should expect to see in any reasonable settlement offer. Unfortunately, insurers bank on injured victims not knowing these factors.
For instance, the insurance company’s offer cannot begin to fully cover your damages if it does not include:
- Your medical expenses – if you have not fully recovered, then these costs are still unknown
- Lost wages – Victims recovering in the hospital at home are still losing work income
- Future earnings – Victims who suffer any level of disability may not be able to return to work
- Property damages – A quick offer should include vehicle repairs and diminished value
- Pain and suffering – Fair value of these damages can only be determined by an attorney
Before you verbally accept a settlement offer, it is critical that you contact a licensed attorney to ensure the protection of your rights and legal interests. If another driver’s negligence caused your damages in a crash, you should not be on the hook for the damages.
Call Our Firm for Answers to Your Legal Questions
Trying to figure out whether a settlement offer is fair or not is difficult for a crash victim. Those who seek the help of a qualified attorney often recover far more compensation than those who do not.
At PKSD, we understand the complexity of car crash cases. We also know how to accurately calculate the full value of a claim. If you have already verbally agreed to a settlement, we strongly recommend you contact our law firm right away to discuss your situation.
We offer a completely free case review at no risk to you. If you choose to hire our services, there are no upfront costs and also no fees throughout the legal process. We only get paid if we win compensation for you.
Call our law offices anytime, night or day, to get started. 877-877-2228