should I accept an insurance settlement offer

A few weeks after another driver rear-ended you at a stoplight, you file a personal injury claim for the injuries you’ve experienced and medical bills that are piling up. One day, the phone rings.
It's the insurance adjuster calling with good news: they're ready to make a settlement offer. The adjuster gives you a number, explains their reasoning in offering that amount, and assures you that it's a fair settlement offer that you'd be wise to accept. What do you say?

Dealing with Insurance Adjusters after a Wreck

Insurance companies are businesses. Their goal is to make a profit, and in order to do so, they need you to accept the lowest possible settlement offer. This is important to remember because it means that in this situation, the adjuster is neither on your team nor looking out for your best interests.

So when an adjuster assures you that an offer is reasonable, you'll need to do some critical thinking of your own. As personal injury lawyers, we've seen many settlement offers that sounded appealing at first. After our clients considered all of the pain, medical bills, and property damage they had experienced, they realized this offer was far from fair.

The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

We should mention that if you hire a personal injury lawyer, you won't be faced with the situation we just described.

That's because one of the first things your newly hired lawyer will do is send a letter of representation to the insurance company. This letter instructs the insurance adjuster to contact your lawyer instead of you – meaning that your phone shouldn’t ring, and if it does, you can just tell the adjuster to call your lawyer. Your attorney and legal assistant will handle settlement negotiations with the insurance company.

The adjuster will send settlement offers directly to the law firm, who will then call you to talk through your options and questions. Your attorney will give you his/her professional opinion and will keep negotiating until you’re happy with the result. The ultimate decision is up to you.

You can handle your own claim without hiring a lawyer with experience in car wreck cases, but you should be prepared for many more calls like the one we described at the beginning of this post. 

3 Questions to Consider Before Accepting an Offer

Whichever route you take, you’ll need to consider the following questions before making any decisions or signing any settlement agreements. A personal injury lawyer will go even more in detail and help you consider issues that apply to your unique situation which may not be covered here. 

  1. Will It Cover All of My Medical Bills?
    It's important that you finish treatment before sending any demands to the insurance company so that you can be sure all of your bills are taken into account. But what if you're facing long-term treatments, medicine, or future surgeries? 
  2. Are Lost Wages Included?
    You’ll want to receive compensation for any days of work that you missed due to your injury or doctor’s appointments related to the accident. But wage loss can encompass much more than that. Do you work irregular hours or freelance for a living? Have your injuries prevented you from returning to your job or industry? Did you have to take a lower-paying job because you could no longer perform your job duties? Don’t accept a settlement offer until you’ve considered the future impact your injuries may have on your ability to work.
  3. Does It Take Into Account the Pain and Suffering I’ve Experienced?
    Sometimes the losses you suffer after an accident aren’t monetary. The emotional and mental turmoil you may experience, including strain on your family, lower quality of life, and inability to perform normal daily functions, are classified as “pain and suffering.” This is a notoriously difficult category for which to assign a dollar value, and insurance adjusters may try to skip right over it. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine whether you have a valid claim to compensation in this area.

Get the Settlement You Deserve with Taylor King Law

The attorneys are Taylor King Law have experience with dealing with insurance companies; they do it every day. When you hire Taylor King, you get a team to be On Your Side, By Your Side. We'll stand up for your best interests and handle the complicated process for you. You'll never have to deal with insurance calls or make important settlement decisions without the advice of a skilled lawyer. 

Have you received a settlement offer and aren't sure whether to accept? Call us today at 1-800-CAR WRECK. We'll be happy to speak with you. If the settlement is too low, we can represent you to make sure you are fairly compensated. With offices all over Arkansas, we're the personal injury lawyer you need.