3 Reasons to Refuse the First Settlement Offer After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be overwhelming and stressful for all parties involved. Victims of a car accident are faced with mounting medical bills, lost wages, and emotional turmoil. Alternatively, the person responsible for the accident may be devastated at the possibility that they may lose a lawsuit.

For these reasons and many others, both parties may be tempted to settle a car accident dispute immediately after a car accident before being able to discuss better options with an experienced attorney. If you have been badly hurt in a car accident, discuss the best steps to take with a car accident attorney that can help you before agreeing to your first settlement.

Reasons to Refuse the First Settle Offer after a Car Accident

There are a few specific reasons as to why you should refuse the first settlement offer after you’ve experienced a car accident:

1. The Offer Is Much Less than You Deserve

Insurance companies care only about saving money when it comes to settling claims. Assisting those who have been hurt in an accident is only an afterthought in their business model. If you have been terribly hurt in an accident, you should be skeptical about accepting an insurance company’s first offer because you are most likely being offered a lowball settlement. A lowball settlement is a settlement that is intentionally priced lower than what the insurance company expects the claim’s value to truly be.

Even if you believe that you don’t need a higher settlement offer for your injuries, it is best not to accept the first offer until you have a better assessment of the damages you have endured. The best way to get a thorough assessment is to consult with a car accident lawyer to better understand the compensation you deserve.

2. A Signature Ends Your Claim

If you decide to sign an insurance release form, you are releasing the insurance company of all liability to pay you more compensation later down the road for damages. This means if your injuries develop and worsen over time because of your accident, you will be unable to pursue compensation from the insurance company to help you with mounting medical bills and lost wages. You will then be expected to pay for your injuries and rehabilitation out of pocket, and it may cause you financial stress.

3. You Need to Attain Your Maximum Medical Improvement

Maximum medical improvement refers to the point at which you, as the victim of a car accident injury, are healed as much as you are able to heal using medical treatments available to you in your treatment plan. Your doctor monitors your recovery process and when you reach your MMI. Once you have reached your full recovery, it is better to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company because you will have a more definite understanding of the expenses you have made and are yet to make in your recovery journey.

How Much Are Your Injuries Worth?

Having a thorough sense of how much your injuries are worth can help you assess whether your settlement offer is too low. Some injuries are easily calculated, whereas others are more complex. Economic damages include:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Car repairs

The insurance adjuster can easily add up these damages to give you a better idea of how much compensation you may recover. Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate and include damages such as pain and suffering, lost companionship, or emotional distress. These are not tangible losses and can be best assessed with the help of a car accident lawyer.

Why You Should Avoid Settling Too Soon

A settlement with the insurance company is preferable to going to trial. However, there are disadvantages to settling too soon. These disadvantages include:

  • Once you accept a settlement, you can’t sue: If you sign a settlement agreement, you are also giving up your right to sue for the injuries that may develop.
  • Your injuries are not healed: If you have suffered severe injuries, then it might take a substantial amount of time to determine how much medical care you may need down the road. In this situation, you may want to wait to settle until you have all of the information to be able to afford medical care and rehabilitation.

Consult with an experienced lawyer who knows the complexities of these types of cases and how to deal with insurance companies. A personal injury lawyer can best assist you in the decision-making process that can help you achieve a full recovery and get back to living everyday life.

Contact a Washington Car Accident Lawyer for Guidance Surrounding Your First Settlement

Settlement negotiation can be complex. If you have been terribly hurt in a car accident and need to deal with the insurance company, consult the experienced legal team at Premier Law Group. We have helped countless car accident victims with their claims and helped them negotiate a settlement they deserved.

To find out what legal choices you have after you’ve experienced a car accident, speak with the legal team at Premier Law Group today at (206) 880-7518 or fill out our contact form.