Should You Accept a First Insurance Settlement
After many types of accidents, the first step for injured victims is to file an insurance claim. There are many different insurance claims that can compensate you for your medical bills and other injury-related losses. Some claims that you may need to file in Florida include:
- After a car or pedestrian accident, a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim
- After a motorcycle accident, a claim with a negligent driver’s insurance company
- After a slip and fall accident, a claim with the business or store’s liability insurance
- After a medical injury, a claim with a doctor or hospital’s medical malpractice insurance
- After a dog bite, a claim with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance
- After a workplace injury, a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance
While the process is different for each type of claim, one thing is generally true—an insurance company will attempt to limit liability whenever it can. Whether or not you are the policyholder, it is all too common for claimants to experience delays and denials before they ever receive compensation for their losses.
At some point in the process, the insurance company will likely make an initial settlement offer. Often, this is early on and a claimant may be thrilled to have received an offer at all and to be finished with the insurance process. However, you should always carefully consider whether it is in your best interests to accept that first offer.
Problems With Early Settlement Offers
If a claimant is not represented by an attorney, an insurance company may try to take advantage of the situation by presenting an offer that they believe the claimant may accept—even if the offer is insufficient to cover their losses. Many unrepresented individuals may believe that accepting the first offer is their only option or they may just want the process to be over as soon as possible. Others may not be aware of the true value of their losses and may believe that an offer is “good enough.”
Whatever the reason, accepting an inadequate offer can significantly damage your finances. When you accept an offer, you sign away your right to seek additional compensation for your losses. If you later realize that the offer was too low—which is all too common—there is, unfortunately, little you can do about it.
Instead, you should always seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney who regularly handles insurance claims in Florida. We know how to accurately value your claim and review any offers for adequacy. We will never suggest that you accept an offer that is less than you deserve and we have the tools to negotiate an adequate settlement.
Contact a Brandon, Florida, Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Today
At the Lawler Firm, P.A., we regularly fight for favorable insurance payouts for our injured clients. We handle a wide range of motor vehicle accident and personal injury cases and we can advise you of your rights after an injury. Contact us online or call (813) 431-4470 to schedule a free consultation with a Brandon personal injury attorney.