There was an accident, it wasn’t your fault, and you were injured. The period after the accident can be a highly intense and exhausting time – both physically and emotionally. All you know is that you were hurt and have bills piling up for your medical expenses and property damage.
You may be speaking with your insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance company. The details can be confusing.
Amid this fog of information, the at-fault insurance party makes you a settlement offer. You may ask friends and family if you should accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company. The answer should be no. Decline the offer and call an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney if you haven’t already.
The Insurance Company is Your Adversary
It’s a harsh reality to face when you are hurt and vulnerable, but business is business. The insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible if they can get away with it. California rules on fair and equitable insurance settlements say they aren’t allowed to do it, but they do it anyway.
The insurance company will investigate your claim and look at the relevant documentation and evidence like police reports and witness statements. Then they will come up with an amount they think your case is worth. They will likely offer you a lower amount with the hope that you will accept it. People without a personal injury attorney representing them are especially susceptible to jumping on the first offer.
The insurance adjusters know that you might not be aware of the actual value of your case.
Sure, you know you should be compensated for your medical bills and property damage. But you might not know about the other damages you may be entitled to, like future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Patience is Essential
When you accept the first offer of an insurance settlement, you are effectively closing off any future opportunity to get more compensation. Upon acceptance, the insurance company will require you to sign a release. The release effectively says that the insurance company doesn’t have to pay you any more money going forward. This is the case even if you learn of an injury or other damage after the fact. Don’t do this. It’s a bad idea.
You get one chance to pursue as much compensation as you are entitled to. Taking time to recover and value your damages is essential so that you can carefully consider how much money you will need to get your life back on track. Don’t let the insurance company intimidate you into accepting something you aren’t ready to accept.
The smart move is to decline the first settlement offer and consult a personal injury lawyer. Now you aren’t on your own when you wonder whether you should accept the insurance company’s settlement offer.
Your lawyer will advise you, advocate for you, and deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf. They’ll engage in back-and-forth negotiations and counter-offers to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.
Your attorney will help you determine your expenses from the accident and what they will be in the future. They will know when it’s the right time to accept the insurance company’s offer.
An Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Negotiate a Favorable Settlement Offer
If you’re fortunate, you haven’t been in any accidents in your life until now. If that’s the case, you will probably not know what to do or where to begin to get compensation. That plays right into the insurance company’s hands. Get an experienced personal injury lawyer on your team. They will make sure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.