Mistake #8 Accepting an Initial Offer
If you hire an attorney early in the process, you will avoid the mistake of accepting an initial offer from an insurance company. A first settlement offer from the insurance company is almost certainly a lowball offer, and it is not one you want to take.
Remember our mantra: An insurance company is a business whose model is designed to prevent high payouts to victims.
The initial offer is no good, and the insurance company knows it. Thanks to this book and the advice of your lawyer, now you know it too.
There are many factors that go into receiving a fair offer following an auto or motorcycle accident. For example:
- Is there a possibility or even a certainty of future lost wages?
- Could future injuries be so serious that it is possible the individual will never work again?
- If so, how could such an accident victim possibly have an understanding of how the legal system could compensate for such a horrific and serious accident?
A lawyer, on the other hand, will have the knowledge and experience necessary to understand the value of the case.
This expertise is essential, especially when there are long-term injuries or even permanent disabilities. When you may have future medical costs, treatments, and future pain and suffering, it’s nearly impossible to know what your claim is worth without talking to a lawyer.
Even if an insurance company’s offer seems like a lot of money now, you may end up realizing that they shortchanged you with a lowball offer when you run out of money for medical treatments years later.
Future considerations can be difficult to take into account when you and your loved ones need money now. But this natural urge to receive money right away is precisely what the insurance company is counting on. Fight this urge, and you will be far better off for having done so.
Why Waiting for the Settlement You Deserve is the Right Choice
Signing a release that is based on an offer that is too low is a permanent choice. You do not get a second chance. That’s why it’s so important to get the settlement right the first time.
If injuries worsen over time or the injuries were not properly investigated before you settle, you and your loved ones may not even know the full scope of what you just agreed on upon.
What may have been a soft tissue injury at the time of settlement may turn out to become a herniated disc that requires extensive treatment. You need to understand the extent of your medical condition before your case is settled.
Accepting an early offer makes it difficult for you to properly assess your potential damages. That means the insurance company will never provide an offer to cover those potential damages because a thorough investigation has not yet brought those facts to light.
Expect the insurance company to make the offer sound appealing while impressing upon you how urgent it is to resolve the matter. The reality is that the more thorough the investigation, the more likely it is that the insurance company will actually pay out a fair offer.
Insurance companies do not want you to hire an attorney, for obvious reasons. Claims that settle with a lawyer bring in more money for accident victims, and insurance companies know this. It is in their best interest to rush to provide you with an offer that seems so fair that you question the need to even consult a lawyer.
You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to slow down, take a step back, and make a quick phone call to a lawyer you can count on. If you are reluctant to make that call after an accident, it might be because you think the claim will drag on for years. Fortunately, that is rarely the case.
Your lawyer should serve as trusted counsel who provides you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. If you ever decide that the time is right to settle and you are tired of waiting, that is your decision to make. That said, you will almost certainly receive a better offer after your lawyer has investigated your case and fought the insurance company on your behalf.
Most claims are resolved quickly once you have finished your medical treatment and there is a more complete understanding of the total short- and long-term medical costs, lost wages, and any special damages.
There is a reason most auto accident cases settle out of court. I estimate that roughly 97 percent of the accident cases I have handled have been settled. With more than 28 years of experience at all levels of the federal and state court system, I can assure you that the reason my cases don’t go to court is that I get the insurance company to deliver a fair offer.
If they don’t, I take the case to trial.
The final decision is yours to make. If you are ready to settle, you can do so. A swift and fair resolution is possible if you have a bit of patience and put your case in the hands of a Rhode Island lawyer who can take the fight to the insurance company on your behalf. If you are concerned about the time waiting for compensation, simply ask your lawyer for more information about the expected timeline. Your lawyer should provide you with timely case updates and should have at least some general notion of how long the case should take to resolve.
Finding the Best Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer
Hiring a car accident lawyer in Rhode Island is an important decision. The best attorneys are able to evaluate your case quickly and provide advice so you can make an informed decision. No attorney should ever pretend to know the exact value of your case in advance, and you should never pay for an initial consultation. The law office of Louis W. Grande handles car cases on “contingency” contracts, meaning that you never pay unless we win your case.
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