Following preventable accidents and injuries, victims have the right to take legal action to recover any economic and non-economic damages they suffered, including their medical expenses, lost work wages, and pain and suffering. By initiating the personal injury claim process, victims seek full and fair recoveries from the party who caused them harm. However, those parties are typically policy holders represented by their insurance providers, and it is these insurance companies that typically pay victims.
When handling personal injury claims, insurance companies prioritize their own profits over the needs of people harmed by their policyholders. That’s because they are powerful corporations that want to protect their bottom line and pay victims as little as possible. If you or someone you love has recently been involved in an accident, there are a few things you need to know about accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer.
Be wary of lowball settlement offers – One of the most common ways insurance companies attempt to cut their losses and protect their profits is to get in contact with victims early on in the process and get them to accept an initial settlement offer. Often, these are lowball offers that provide less than you need or deserve, especially if you still don’t know all of your damages, or still need medical treatment. Insurance companies take advantage of what you don’t know, and if they can lead you to believe accepting their first offer is the right thing to do, they know you can’t come back and ask for more.
You need to know the full scope of your damages – One of the main reasons why it is important to avoid accepting a settlement offer early on, especially when the offer appears low, is because you need to know the full scope of your damages. This means calculating all the losses you have experienced as a result of your injuries. If you are still seeking medical treatment, for example, you may require procedures or longer treatment in order to recover. If you accept a low offer too early, and still need treatment, you are on the hook for it.
Consider your future damages – In some cases, not all victims are able to recover prior to reaching a settlement, or may have injuries severe enough that they will never fully be the same. When this is the case, you need to consider whether a settlement offer includes compensation to help you meet any future needs, such as future medical care, future pain and suffering, and more.
You can have an attorney help you – When determining what is a fair settlement and what is not, as well as when it is the right time to settle, you have the right to work with an attorney who can provide the counsel you need. An experienced lawyer can also help you calculate all of your damages, including any future needs or medical care you may require, and seek a full and fair settlement. If insurance companies don’t want to pay what you rightfully deserve, an attorney may also help you pursue the compensation you need through litigation.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our legal team is passionate about advocating for the injured. If you would like more information about your right to compensation following a preventable accident, we provide free consultation to help you get started. Contact us today.