If you have ever been injured in an automobile accident, you know how difficult it can be to recalibrate physically and mentally in the days that follow. Immediately following a car accident, nerves are frayed, you often haven't even begun to get a sense of the real toll of your injuries, and getting your life back to a place of normalcy is often the last thing you're able to do.
The fact is shortly after an accident, considering a quick settlement offer is the last thing an injured person should be doing. This blog post provides some food for thought when considering making a hasty decision on a quick settlement offer with four reasons it might not be in your best interest to accept:
1) A Quick Settlement is Always in the Best Interest of the At-Fault Driver's Insurer: When an at-fault driver's insurer reaches out to an injured party shortly after a car accident, their priority is to limit the damage your claim will do to their bottom line. Insurers understand that injuries following a car accident often do show up months later. Typically, people often only consider their most immediate injuries and damages shortly following an accident. If an insurer addresses those needs immediately, people are often quite amenable to a quick settlement, relieved that a long court battle will be avoided and their most immediate needs are being addressed. But the truth is a clearer picture of the real damages in an auto accident only reveal themselves months after the accident occurs.
2) A Quick Settlement Typically Avoids Important Negotiation: It is always in the best interest of the injured party to have an experience attorney negotiate the final settlement in their accident claim. The reason is simple: the at-fault driver's insurer will always present a first offer that is on the lower end of the spectrum of what they see your injuries are worth. Therefore, negotiation in accident claims usually favors the injured party. Settling for the first offer often leaves compensation to which you are entitled on the table.
3) A Quick Settlement Often Means Signing a Release: Accepting a quick offer means signing a release, and that means signing away your rights to further damages. That could include delayed symptoms and injuries that are serious and costly (like soft-issue damages or brain injuries). Never sign away your rights to injuries after a car accident until you have had time to get a full and complete medical evaluation and have a clear picture of the totality of possible damages in your case.
4) A Quick Settlement Often Undermines Your Ability to Get Expert Personal Injury Counsel:Whenever you are offered a quick settlement and asked to sign a release to receive funds immediately following an accident, it subverts your ability to seek experienced counsel. Anyone injured in a car accident should always consider seeking a skilled personal injury attorney to offer a clear picture of the scope of possible damages in your case. Many times, plaintiffs are entitled to more than just medical treatment and pain and suffering. Damages in car accident cases often include lost wages, loss of employability, loss of consortium and in some cases punitive damages. Having the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney can avert the loss of these and other damages that will be left on the table if you sign away your rights with a quick settlement.
If you've been injured in a car accident, don't sign away compensation you deserve. Get the experience of the skilled personal injury attorneys at Panio Law Offices in Chicago on your side and get an advocate who will fight for your right to the maximum award to which you are entitled.
Call us today at (312) 313-0305. We can help.