Insurance companies often try to quickly contact injury victims after a crash and offer a settlement to close a claim as soon as possible. While victims are tempted to accept these offers, they are often worth far less than the full value of the claim. Insurers know this and they know injury victims often feel desperate for compensation.
Before you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, you should speak to one of our car crash lawyers in Fort Worth to discuss the facts of your case. We offer a free consultation to see what legal options may be available to you. There are no hourly fees, and we only get paid if you do.
Below, we discuss some of the things you should consider before you agree to a settlement with the insurance company.
Does the Offer Include Future Expenses?
The first settlement offer from the insurance company is almost always a low-ball offer. This is generally because insurance companies do not calculate the value of any future damages. While the insurance company’s offer may cover some of your economic expenses, such as medical bills and property damage, these are all past expenses.
Some accidents may result in serious injuries that may require extensive medical treatment long after your claim is resolved, so getting compensated for any potential future medical expenses is important. Other future expenses may include loss of earning capacity if you suffered an injury serious enough to leave you unable to work.
If the insurance company offers you a settlement, you need to know what it may cover in terms of all your past and future economic expenses. This is an issue you can discuss with one of the licensed attorneys at Anderson & Cummings.
Does the Offer Include Non-Economic Damages?
As an injury victim in Texas, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your economic damages like medical expenses, but you also have the right to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, insurers often do not offer a settlement that includes compensation for non-economic damages. Remember that the insurance company is only interested in its own bottom line. This means their offer to settle the claim is based on their hope that if they offer you some money, you will go away quietly and not pursue any legal action. Since many injury victims are not aware of their rights, insurance companies often get away with this and avoid financial responsibility.
Will Rejecting the Offer Affect my Chances of Recovering Compensation?
One of the many tactics that insurers use to get injury victims to accept a low settlement offer is to falsely claim their offer is final and refusing it will mean you will not receive any compensation at all.
This is not true. The first offer is a starting point. Victims often refuse the first offer and make a counteroffer. This is how negotiations work.
Generally, after a claim is filed, the injury victim sends a demand letter to the insurer in which he or she states the nature of the incident, injuries and makes a demand for compensation. Then, the insurer may choose to accept or deny the victim’s demands.
The insurer often makes a counteroffer, which is usually for much less than what is being asked of them. Once the insurance company’s response is received by the injury victim, he or she has the same options: accept or reject. This process will generally go on until both sides reach an agreement that satisfies both sides.
Speak to an Attorney First. Call Us Today
If the insurance company makes an offer to settle your claim, you should speak to an attorney before making a decision.
Our attorneys have decades of experience dealing with insurance companies, and we know how to determine the full value of a claim. We are also aggressive negotiators.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options for pursuing compensation and do not charge you anything up front. We work on a contingency basis, which means we do not get paid unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
Call us today at (817) 920-9000 to learn more.