When you verbally accept a settlement offer, you may wonder whether this is a valid and legally-binding agreement. You might also wonder whether you can continue negotiating if you have yet to sign a formal acceptance offer. Thankfully, when you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you can get answers.
You have the right to change your mind until you formally accept a settlement offer in writing. Suppose the insurance company is attempting to take advantage of you or settle your claim for less than you deserve. In that case, your personal injury attorney will suggest renegotiating your settlement for a more reasonable offer.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Before You Accept a Settlement Offer
When you initially speak to the insurance company, you may be anxious to access the compensation you need to cover your costs. Unfortunately, this is a time when insurance companies often take advantage of claimants.
They know you need access to compensation now and may be willing to settle your claim as quickly as possible, even though it is significantly less than your claim is worth. Fortunately, having a personal injury attorney on your side means the insurance company cannot trick you into settling for less than your claim is worth.
Although you might initially accept the first offer, once you talk to your lawyer and find out how much your claim is actually worth, unless you have formally signed and accepted the insurance company’s offer, you can continue negotiating. For this reason, it may be in your best interests to have your attorney review the insurance company settlement offer before you make a decision and sign on the dotted line.
Why Insurers Make Fast Settlement Offers
Insurance companies know you need access to money now and may be willing to make quick offers in the hopes of settling for less than you are entitled to. However, insurance companies make fast settlement offers primarily because they recognize the actual value of your claim and hope to protect their profit loss.
When you first speak to the insurance company, you may need to be made aware of how much your claim is worth or the extent to which your injuries have affected your life. Without having an attorney working for you, there is a wide range of losses you could miss out on recovering, such as:
- Lost income
- Compensation for copays and prescription medications
- Restitution for emotional distress and physical pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and skin scarring
- Future medical expenses
- Loss of employee benefits
- Diminished value claims
Having carefully reviewed all of how your life has been affected by your injuries is necessary for the insurance company to know how much your claim is worth. For this reason, if you receive a fast offer from the insurance company, you should immediately be skeptical and review the proposal with your lawyer before accepting. Even though you can access settlement fines sooner, your claim could be worth far more if you wait and continue negotiating.
Take the Time to Consider Your Options
When the insurance company initially makes you a settlement offer, you may be pressured into making a decision immediately. Access to compensation now. However, you are not obligated to answer the insurance company instantly.
You can let them know that you would like to discuss their offer with your attorney before you decide. Then, you can have the insurance company contact your personal injury lawyer to review the settlement offer on your behalf.
That way, you are not at risk of being tricked into accepting a settlement significantly less than your claim’s value. Your attorney will then be able to continue negotiating with the insurance company for a settlement offer that more reasonably meets your needs.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle the Insurance Company
In first speaking with the insurance company, you may not have a personal injury lawyer working on your case. After all, you may not know you have grounds for legal action. When you receive a verbal offer from the insurance company, it is essential to remember that the insurer is not on your side.
They are working for the insurance company and aiming to protect the insurance company’s financial interest. For this reason, you must have a legal advocate prioritizing your needs.
If you do not have a personal injury lawyer, politely tell the insurance adjuster that you must review the offer with your personal injury attorney first. Then, get on the phone and contact an experienced personal injury lawyer you can hire to begin negotiating with the insurance company.
How Your Lawyer Will Help
When you have never been through the claims process before, you may initially be intimidated by the thought of hiring a personal injury lawyer. However, having an experienced legal advocate on your side can make all the difference in the throes of your recovery. You can rely on your personal injury attorney to:
- Thoroughly investigate how your accident happened
- Establish liability and negligence for your damages
- Obtain valuable evidence to support your case
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement offer
- Prepare to bring your case to trial if the insurance company refuses to settle your claim fairly or if the insurance coverage does not sufficiently meet your needs
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney for Help Today
Verbally accepting a settlement offer is not the end of the road for your insurance claim. It would be best to formally accept the settlement offer in writing before it is legally binding and valid. This means you can change your mind and continue renegotiating if you discover the insurance company is attempting to settle your claim for less than you deserve.
Get help protecting the compensation you are entitled to when you contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for help. You can reach us through our online contact form or phone to start working on your insurance claim as soon as today.