Should I Take the Insurance Company's Offer After an Accident?
When an insurance company sends you a settlement offer letter after a car accident, do not sign it without first contacting a lawyer.
It is usually a great day when someone sends you a letter in the mail, offering to pay you money, instead of a bill asking you to pay them. When that letter is a settlement offer from an insurance company about an accident in which you were injured, do not get so carried away with the idea of someone giving you money that you sign without even thinking carefully about whether the amount the insurance company is offering is enough. Before you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, contact a Temecula car accident lawyer, especially if the injuries you sustained in the accident are serious.
About Settlement Offer Letters from Insurance Companies
When you get into a car accident, the insurance companies go through the complex process of determining percentages of fault for the accident and figuring out how much money the insurance company should pay you for vehicle repairs and, if you were injured in the accident, also for medical bills. The trouble is that medical bills are absurdly expensive, and insurance companies are looking out for their own bottom line. If your injuries were serious enough to require hospitalization, it is unlikely that the insurance company will offer you enough money to bring your hospital bill balance down to zero.
Think Before You Sign
Even if the amount that the insurance company is offering sounds reasonable, you should consult a personal injury lawyer before you sign the settlement offer. Once you sign, you give up the right to file a personal injury lawsuit about the accident. In a personal injury lawsuit, the court can award you damages not only for medical bills, but also for income you lost because of missing work due to your injuries. If the injuries are severe enough, you can also get compensation for future medical bills and lost income. Most personal injury lawsuits settle without going to trial, which means that your lawyer may be able to persuade the defendant to pay you what you are requesting without you having to go through the stress of preparing for a trial.
Even Better, Let Your Lawyer Do the Talking
In order to justify offering you as little as possible in the settlement offer, insurance companies often take recorded statements, during which adjusters try to get a recording of you contradicting yourself, admitting fault for the accident, or saying that your injuries are minor. You are not required to give these statements. Just ask the insurance company to talk to your lawyer.
Contact the Murrieta Car Accident Lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst
It is never too soon to contact a car accident lawyer, even if less than 24 hours have passed since the accident and you have yet to receive a diagnosis for your injuries.Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLPonline or call 951-816-3435 to discuss your case.