When you have been involved in an accident involving a serious injury, it can be overwhelming on physical, financial and emotional levels. The best decision you can make is to hire an attorney with experience handling serious personal injury cases. The idea is to let the attorney handle all of the insurance and legal red tape so you can focus on healing yourself both physically and emotionally.
In many personal injury cases, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to make a quick settlement offer. If you are not represented by a lawyer, the insurance company will often try to settle with you before you hire one. The insurance adjuster will present himself as being on your side and try to coax you into thinking that you are getting a great offer. Regardless of whether or not you believe that the settlement offer is fair, in most cases we know that the settlement is designed primarily to benefit the insurance company and not you, the victim.
A settlement offer is just that. It is an offer. Don’t just sign it. You are not required to accept an offer and it is not binding unless and until you do. If you receive a settlement offer and are not yet represented by an attorney, contact a lawyer to review the facts of your case and the settlement offer. Your lawyer’s job is to look after your best interest. That means assessing the fairness of any settlement offer. That means considering whether the offer fully covers your injuries and expenses. That means considering any future expenses – medical or otherwise – that you may have. And, that means negotiating with the insurance company to ensure you receive the best possible terms.
Remember, don’t assume you know all the answers. You are dealing with all kinds of stresses and you don’t have the knowledge or experience to fully evaluate the fairness of the offer. Always, contact an experienced attorney first to help you fight for the compensation that you deserve.