If you have been injured in an accident, you are probably in a lot of pain. You may have to attend multiple doctor’s appointments and miss plenty of work. You just want this all to be over with and to get back to your normal life.
When an insurance company calls to offer you a settlement, it can be very tempting to take it. However, it is never a good idea to take a settlement without going through the proper steps. You should make the first call to the insurance company. If they call you with an offer first, they are probably aware that your claim is legitimate and that you are owed more money than they want to pay. The offer they give you is likely to be too low.
What are the proper steps?
When a person is in an accident, they should save the bills from any medical treatments that they need. They should also save receipts from any medicine they need to take for their pain. They should call the insurance company of the party responsible for their injury and file a claim. The insurance company will ask them to document the claim.
The accident victim will send all of their bills and a letter from their employer documenting the amount of time they have missed from work. An insurance adjuster will then investigate the accident and approve or deny the claim.
They will make a settlement offer if they accept your claim, but you should never accept an offer without talking to an attorney first. Auto accident lawyers can calculate how much money you should get for a collision, and they know how to negotiate with insurance companies.
Why Insurance Companies Make Preliminary Offers
There are two kinds of insurance laws in the United States: fault and no-fault. In a fault state, a person responsible for the accident also pays for its associated bills. In a no-fault state, a person’s insurance company will pay for their accident-related bills no matter who caused the accident. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to automobile insurance.
If you are injured due to the negligence of a driver who is a resident of a fault-state, their insurance policy should pay for your medical bills. If you have been injured by another person’s negligence, an insurance company may call you with a settlement offer before you even have a chance to contact them. This is a tactic known as “third-party assistance.”
Why People Take Third Party Assistance Offers
There are some situations where it may be a good idea to take a third-party assistance offer. If your medical bills are minor and there was almost no damage to your car, It may be easier to take this kind of offer.
When you do things this way, you can avoid the time-consuming process of going through a traditional insurance claim.
You should always have yourself checked out by a doctor before accepting any kind of insurance settlement offer. You may feel fine right after an accident, only to discover that there are injuries that take a while to manifest. A doctor can examine you using an x-ray or other methods to make sure that you are okay.
Unless your injuries are minimal or non-existent, most attorneys would tell you not to take a third-party assistance offer.
Traditional Insurance Settlement Offers
Even if you go through all of the appropriate steps when you file a claim, an insurance company may try to offer you an unfair amount when it makes its initial settlement offer. It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney before you take any settlement. An attorney can tell you if the insurance company’s offer is fair.
If the offer is not fair, a lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
A lawyer will be well versed in the laws in your state and they will know about any changes to the law. They will also be aware of any cases that are similar to yours, and will research and investigate your case. They can also represent you in court in the unlikely event that your case goes to trial.
Getting into an accident can be very upsetting, but weighing your options and talking to your attorney can ensure that you will be well compensated.