You might be surprised – even relieved – when an adjuster offers you a settlement for your injuries within a few days of your accident. But be forewarned. If you’re still hurting or injured, you should not accept a settlement from the adjuster – even if it sounds like a good offer.
Even if you feel like you’ve recovered from your injuries, it’s still prudent to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to help gain a better understanding of your legal options.
Why Shouldn’t I Settle as Soon as Possible?
Once you accept a settlement from the insurance company, your case is closed. Period. That means you release the insurance company from all future claims pertaining to that accident. Their responsibility for your medical treatment or anything else related to the accident is finished.
Moreover, the beginning of your case is usually too early to assign a value to your injury claims. Most people don’t know the full extent of their injuries and treatment plan until time has passed. Severe bruising, for example, could turn into a blood clot, which could travel to your lungs. A slight head injury might seem benign at first, but could lead to swelling on the brain or a concussion. You just don’t know, and only time and medical treatment can tell.
Why Shouldn’t I Sign a Scheduled Release?
You might encounter what we refer to as a “scheduled release.” This is when the adjuster offers to keep your claim “open” for a certain number of days to cover medical bills up to a specified amount within that time period. The problem with a scheduled release is that – again – you can’t predict how your medical condition will progress or regress. What happens if you don’t get better during that time period and you need further treatment? What happens if you get worse – when that headache slowly turns into double vision? If you sign a scheduled release – you’re out of luck.
Insurance Company Tactics to Try to Pay You Less
I’ve found that these and other quick offers can be a common practice among some insurance companies. Experience in dealing with personal injury matters has taught me that most injured people do not know their rights and how the law works. Unfortunately, some insurance companies can use this to their advantage. Remember, their objective is often to pay you the least amount possible on your claim, and the adjuster’s objective may be to get you to accept the least amount sooner rather than later.
Why Do I Need to Get Medical Care Immediately?
The importance of obtaining medical treatment cannot be stressed enough. If you aren’t getting treatment, there’s no documentation or proof that you were injured. There are any number of issues related to treatment that you might be unaware of that could have a detrimental effect on your case. Poor treatment, overtreatment, and gaps in treatment, for example, can effect compensation and create difficulties when trying to negotiate maximum compensation.
Our job as attorneys is not to direct medical treatment. However, we can let you know the effects and various outcomes that different treatment situations may potentially have on your compensation at the end of your case. In general, you should receive the necessary treatment for recovery, follow your doctor’s recommendations, avoid large gaps of time with no treatment, and meet all your scheduled appointments.
Once treatment is complete and you are no longer considered injured, we are in a much better position to properly evaluate the value of your claim.
Will an Attorney be Able to Get Me More Money?
Compensation varies case by case. The overall goal of representation is to increase the amount of your recovery and put you in a better financial position – even after fees. That is why, if you are injured, it’s important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
If you have questions, or want to see if we can help, contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-900-7078. After your free evaluation, we can let you know whether or not representation might possibly add value to your claim.