If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you will very likely file a claim with the at-fault individual’s insurance company in an attempt to obtain just compensation. If you receive an initial settlement offer – and you are flying solo (without an attorney) – you may not have any idea whether the offer is fair or not. While you can seek the legal guidance you need to help ensure that you make a well-informed decision that protects your rights, the problem is that many claimants are willing to accept anything the insurance company offers – out of sheer desperation. Turning to the professional legal counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney can make all the difference – and will allow you to move forward with purpose and the confidence that comes from knowing you are making decisions that are based on legal knowledge and insight.
The Damages You Have Suffered
Ultimately, you are looking to the insurance company to make a settlement offer that covers the damages you’ve suffered in their entirety. In this way, you provide yourself with the best opportunity to reach your fullest recovery. The categories of damage that commonly apply to personal injury claims include:
Property damage (to your car in a traffic accident, for example)
Emotional and physical pain and suffering
Each of these categories can represent a significant loss that can be difficult to overcome. If the settlement offer made by the insurance company covers each of these categories fully, it is worth accepting, but it is unlikely to do so.
The Insurance Company
The insurance company involved in your case – just like every other business – is driven by profits, and their primary strategy for ensuring high profits is settling low. In fact, the insurance company is counting on all of the following:
That you are watching your medical bills mount while your earnings dwindle and are feeling desperate
That you are not fully aware of the extent of your damages (serious injuries can lead to costly and painful secondary health concerns and can leave you looking at a diminished earning potential into your future)
That you want to put the whole thing behind you as quickly as possible (by making the settlement process as protracted and complicated as possible, insurance companies are adept at pushing weary claimants to settle)
In the end, it is far better to be safe than sorry – because once you sign off on a settlement offer, there is no going back. Consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is always well-advised.