When it comes to processing claims, the primary obligation of all insurance companies is to settle claims at a value that has the least impact on the company's profit margin. Unfortunately, this practice does not always benefit the accident victim. For this reason, all accident victims must scrutinize and review the claims they are offered to determine whether or not it's good to accept, especially when it comes to the first offer.
Make sure all the facts about the incident, your property damage, and injuries have been documented and provided to the insurance company. If the insurance company offers you a settlement before you can provide all of this information to them, you do not want to take the offer.
Settlements are often final, in that, once you sign the release for the check, you can't seek any further compensation. You want to be certain that the amount you receive is based on the total impact the incident has had on your life.
A settlement offer is only acceptable when it also includes factors about how the effects of the slip and fall, automobile accident, or other personal injury scenario will impact your future life. Consider a person who suffers a permanent leg injury from a slip and fall, for instance. If the injury limits the individual's ability to work, it also lowers their ability to earn an income. In this instance, if the offer did not reflect these future lost wages, it would not be fair.
A settlement offer is just as it sounds in that it is a proposal. Consequently, you have every right to bring your own proposal, or offer, to the table. For this reason, it's often a good idea for all accident victims to at least attempt to negotiate a better settlement offer before accepting. From how the payments will be made to the value of your pain and suffering, there are plenty of factors to negotiate on.
Speak With an Attorney
To say that the settlement process is challenging would be an understatement. The process is as complex as a massive piece of industrial machinery in that there are many parts working together. To ensure your first, or any other settlement offer you receive, is suitable for your injuries, pain and suffering, and costs, you want someone who understands the complexity of a personal injury case on your side.
All personal injury cases are different. In some instances, the first offer is great, and in other instances, it is not. Always review the specifics of your case and the offer to determine how to move forward. Contact a personal injury attorney for more information.