Why You Should Speak With a Lawyer Before Accepting an Insurance Settlement Offer

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After you’ve suffered a car accident or personal injury, you just want your life to get back to normal. You want the medical bills paid, the car repaired (or replaced), and to get back to work. You especially want your injuries healed so you can get back on your feet. The responsible party’s insurance company knows all of this, so it will act fast to make you an offer. With your world turned upside down, it can be very tempting to take that offer. Here are some reasons why you should speak with a lawyer before you do. Keep in mind that insurance companies are businesses. They exist to make a profit, not to be your friend. That means they have a strong incentive to reach a quick settlement for the lowest price possible.

An insurance adjuster or representative may come across as sympathetic to your case. But remember: your injury is a problem that the at-fault party’s insurance company will do everything to make go away. Settlement offers are often much lower than they should be. If you’ve suffered an injury, for instance, there could be medical problems that don’t manifest themselves until later. Insurance companies are not thinking about later; they are thinking about right now. And they are counting on you doing the same. Therefore, a settlement offer may not cover all of the expenses that you ultimately incur.

Hospital bills are perhaps the most obvious and immediate matters pressing on you after an accident or injury. But there are other considerations: lost wages; decreased earning capacity; pain and suffering. Again, a low-ball offer is not likely to address these and other expenses. Insurance adjusters only want to pay for the most obvious costs; even then, they want to pay the smallest amount. The fact is, without legal representation, you probably won’t know the true value of your case. Having a lawyer will help you determine this. Attorneys with experience in car accidents and personal injury know the potential costs and how-to best value your claim. But because the insurance companies want to minimize costs, their offers will likely not reflect what your case is worth. Once you accept a settlement offer, your case is closed. There is no redo, and you don’t get to bring your case to court.

Insurance companies have their own army of skilled attorneys who draft settlement agreements in ways that prevent this. Their goal is to settle quick and settle once and for all. If you haven’t spoken with an attorney before you sign that settlement agreement, it’s too late. Of course, you are under no obligation to accept a settlement offer. But you do not even have to speak with the other party’s insurance company, either. If you do, beware of the risks that exist even with settlement negotiations. Insurance companies often want car accident or personal injury victims to give recorded statements during settlement discussions. This is a bad idea and could damage your case if you decide later to not accept a settlement offer. The unfortunate fact is that insurance companies will use whatever they can against you. Discussing settlement with them could potentially set you on the path of ruining your case.

How Can an Atlanta, GA Car Accident Attorney Best Represent Me?

Insurance companies will prey on your vulnerability and lack of understanding of the law. They will use your own words to undermine your case and will minimize your injuries. They may even try to convince you that your injuries were pre-existing, especially if you provide them your medical history. The bottom line is that insurance companies will not take you seriously if you don’t have a lawyer. On the other hand, having an attorney on your side tells the insurance company that you deserve fair compensation. Before speaking to the third-party insurance company, talk to the experienced attorneys at Schneider Hammers today.