If you were hurt in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, the trucker’s insurance company is likely going to “offer” you a lowball settlement. You may be tempted to just accept the money – after all, the insurer could offer thousands of dollars – but that amount may not come close to covering your expenses.
Please speak to a Florida truck accident lawyer with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath before having any communication with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Once we obtain the facts of your case, we’ll know how much compensation you deserve and will fight to help you get every penny.
Here are a few reasons why you should never accept an insurance company settlement offer without having an attorney by your side.
You may be entitled to more money than they offer
The accident that resulted in your injury may have only recently occurred, and it might still be too early for you to know the full extent of your damages and the financial losses you’ll incur. The only way to ensure that your settlement is sufficient is to hire an attorney as soon as possible. They’ll perform a detailed investigation to determine all liable parties and the full value of your case.
Your injuries might be worse than you think
It can take multiple appointments, imaging, and trying different kinds of treatment for doctors to determine just how badly you’ve been injured, what kind of treatment you’ll need, and what type of treatment you’ll need in the future.
For example, you might need more than one surgery or physical therapy, and if complications arise, you could require further treatment. If you simply accept the first offer presented to you before receiving appropriate medical care, opinions from medical experts, and advice from your attorney, the offer might not cover all of your bills, which means you’ll be responsible for paying them.
The initial offer might not include pain and suffering
The settlement offer made by the insurer might cover part of your medical bills and some of the wages you’ve lost because you can’t work, but it’s unlikely to include any compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured as a result of your injury.
Georgia law recognizes the mental anguish you’ve endured as a legitimate claim for damages in a personal injury case–you shouldn’t throw away that possibility by accepting the first offer given to you.
Lowball offers and further negotiations
Another reason to never accept the first offer of compensation is that the insurer will intentionally try to lowball you. After all, they’re in business to make as much profit as possible, so they’ll try to pay you as little as possible. You’ll need an attorney working on your behalf to negotiate with the insurer and to convince them how much they owe you.
Tactics that insurance companies may use to reduce your settlement amount
Insurance companies are sophisticated and are notorious for using certain tactics to get an injury victim to accept a low settlement offer. Here are just a few examples.
Delay, delay, delay – Insurers will often try to wait out injury victims. They’ll try to exploit a victim’s financial concerns, waiting to make an offer until they’re desperate enough to accept it, regardless of the amount.
Denying your claim – The insurance company might flat-out argue that you were responsible for the accident, so they don’t need to pay you a dime.
Recording your words – An insurance adjuster will likely try to get you to agree to be recorded when making your statement. Don’t do this, because they’ll ask misleading questions and will use your answers against you to argue that you were either fully or partially at fault. Don’t answer their questions or give them any information, refer them to your attorney instead.
Let Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath protect your rights