After an accident, you may find it difficult to resume life as you once knew it. Your injuries may prevent you from working, enjoying time with your family and living life to the fullest. In addition, you may have creditors knocking at your door seeking payment for medical bills. When this happens, it can be tempting to accept a quick personal injury settlement. After all, you need money to put your life back together again.
Unfortunately, insurance companies count on this. They know how badly injured accident victims need money and put pressure on them to sign quickly. Often, they use a “take it or leave it” approach that makes it difficult to refuse.
However, it is not always in your best interest to accept a personal injury settlement quickly. In fact, in most cases, it is not. The majority of insurance companies often lowball the first offer, hoping that accident victims will not fight. Before deciding whether to accept an insurance company’s offer, take the following information into account.
The First Offer Is Not Necessarily the Best
As was previously mentioned, most first offers are not nearly good enough. Many of them do not take all of your expenses into account. Therefore, it is usually best to reject the first offer and make an appropriate counter-offer utilizing appropriate negotiating techniques. While it may take you longer to receive compensation, the payouts are typically larger if you can stay patient.
Remember That Settlements Are Final
While countering the first settlement offer is wise, it is also important to understand that all settlements are final, with few exceptions. This means that once you accept a personal injury settlement, you cannot ask for more money in the future. Also, you cannot take the case to court at a later date. Even if your injuries become serious or complications arise, you still cannot receive further compensation. As such, it is important to take your time when accepting a personal injury settlement. An experienced attorney may suggest that you wait to accept a settlement until you have reached maximum medical improvement or until your injuries have healed completely. This way you know the extent of your harms and losses before you decide whether to accept a settlement or that you have received sufficient compensation to cover all of your injuries and damages.
Consider All of Your Accident Expenses
Along with remembering that settlements are final, you should also create a comprehensive list of your accident expenses when considering a personal injury settlement. When doing this, it is important to remember that you deserve compensation for the full value of your harms and losses caused by the accident to the extent of available insurance coverage, not just out-of-pocket expenses. This includes compensation for the following:
- Car repairs
- Alternative transportation
- Long-term care
- Replacement services for household tasks
- Medical expenses
- Cost of future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Mental health treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Other out of pocket expenses caused by the accident.
Contact Our New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys
Did you suffer an injury in an accident in New Jersey? If so, then the insurance company may ask you to sign a release to settle a personal injury case before you have an attorney. At Rosner Law Offices, P.C., our New Jersey personal injury attorneys can help you decide when to accept a settlement and when to keep negotiating. Call us today at (856) 692-6500 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a free consultation. You can also text us with your information for a prompt response. We provide aggressive and compassionate legal representation to accident victims in Cumberland County and the surrounding areas.