Should I Accept the First Settlement Offer in My Personal Injury Case?
If you have been injured in an accident and filed a claim, you might be wondering whether or not it is a good idea to accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company. While receiving a quick payout might be tempting, it is important to consider all the factors involved before making this crucial decision.
Our Sandy Springs personal injury lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers can guide you through the process of filing your claim, negotiating with the insurance company, and settling your claim for a fair and full amount.
Why the Insurance Company Wants You to Settle Quickly
Every insurance company is in the business of making money. For this reason, the insurer’s primary goal is to make a profit. Settling quickly helps them achieve this goal by reducing expenses associated with continued litigation. It also limits the amount of money they have to pay out to you. Therefore, it is in their best interest for you to accept the first settlement offer promptly. However, keep in mind that what is best for them might not be best for you.
Reasons Why It Is Not a Good Idea to Accept the First Settlement Offer
If you accept the first settlement offer, you might be leaving money on the table. Here are four reasons why accepting the first offer is not a good idea.
- First offers are usually low-ball offers;
- Your medical condition might worsen, and you might require additional treatment in the future;
- You might be unaware of all the damages you can claim, such as lost wages and medical expenses; and
- Signing a release could limit your ability to seek compensation for future damages.
If the insurance company makes a settlement offer, there is no need to hurry with the decision. You can take your time to consult with a lawyer to make an informed decision. In fact, Georgia law allows victims in personal injury cases to file lawsuits against the defendant(s) as long as no more than two years have passed from the date of injury (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33).
When the insurance company makes its first settlement offer, it is important to get a good estimate of how much your claim is worth. This involves calculating both economic and non-economic damages. To ensure complete accuracy, it is best to work with a personal injury lawyer who can assess the unique details of your case.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury lawyer helps ensure that you attain the most favorable outcome in your claim. Lawyers are trained negotiators and know how to challenge the available evidence. They can research similar cases and review medical records to support your claim. Additionally, if the insurance company refuses to offer an adequate settlement, your lawyer can take the case to trial, ensuring that you do not leave money on the table.
Received a Settlement Offer? Consult with a Lawyer
When it comes to accepting a settlement offer in a personal injury case, it is important to be fully informed before accepting or declining the offer. Insurance companies want you to accept the first settlement quickly, but doing so might not be in your best interest. Before considering an offer, calculate how much your claim is worth and consult with a personal injury attorney.
Our lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers can explain the options available to you and determine if it is best to accept the offer, negotiate a higher settlement, or take your case to court. We serve all of Georgia, including Sandy Springs, Atlanta, DeKalb County, Dunwoody, Gwinnett County, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, and Johns Creek. Call 770-685-6400 for a free case evaluation.