One of the questions we frequently get at our personal injury law firm in Houston is our opinion on an offer made on a case. There are many factors to consider when evaluating an injury claim.
After an auto accident, you may concentrate on healing from your injury. The insurance company may be trying to resolve your case. The negligent driver’s insurance representative will contact you to make a statement and discuss the details of the accident. It is helpful to speak with a Houston personal injury attorney before you talk to the insurance company.
At some point, if the fault is clear, the insurance company will likely contact you to offer you a settlement check. Then the question becomes, is the settlement offer fair? Here are a few things to consider.
Is This a Good Time to Settle Your Case?
When recovering from a vehicle crash, you probably feel a financial pinch. You are racking up medical bills that may also be stressing you out. The insurance company knows you need funds; therefore, they are ready to make a fast and often lowball settlement offer. Here are a few questions to consider:
Do You Know the Extent of Your Injuries?
Early settlements shift the risk to you. If you are hurt worse than you think, or symptoms do not show up right away, if you have settled, those losses fall on you.
Are You Done Being Treated?
If you are still treating it, it is generally not the time to consider settling your case. One exception will be if you are close to the statute of limitations. Otherwise, wait until your medical bills are finalized, and you have been released from care to consider settlement.
You need not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company just because it has been offered. It would be best if you did not take any offer until you consult with an attorney.
The Adjuster Has Been Trained to Pay as Little as Possible
The insurance company wants to give the lowest money they can because they want to save money. Therefore, they often offer a settlement that is just not fair. Here is how to deal with a low settlement offer.
Be Wary of Pressure to Accept an Offer
The settlement may not even cover your expenses or your damages. The insurance company may send you a check. Do not cash the check because by doing so, you will likely eliminate your ability to seek further damages. Also, be wary of orally accepting an offer.
Inform the insurance company you do not accept the offer. However, remember that the Texas Statute of Limitations limits the time to file a civil case. You must file a claim within two years of the injury.
Is the Compensation for Pain and Suffering Adequate?
Some insurance companies evaluate the value of a personal injury claim based on medical bills. If the injury was severe, but medical treatment was limited because of the injury’s nature, this method is rarely fair to the victim.
If you are handling a case without an attorney, always ask this one question of the adjuster when negotiating a settlement.
“how much of the offer is for pain and suffering?”
The answer to that question will let you know very quickly how fair the offer is to you.
Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston
Have questions about an accident in Houston, or Harris County, Texas?
Call the accident attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free consultation.
Call (281) 587-1111!
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