Insurance companies are often quick to offer a settlement after an accident. It may be tempting to take a fast settlement offer so you can put the whole incident behind you. Still, there are several things you should consider before you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without speaking with a lawyer.
Understand the Offer
Of course, the goal of an insurance company is to make any settlement they have to pay out as low as possible. Therefore, they will make a low initial offer, hoping the claimant will jump on it quickly and there will be no negotiations.
As a claimant, it’s critical you understand the full extent of the damages you’ve suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and any future expenses you may incur that are related to the accident.
Assessment of Liability
Determining liability is essential in settlement negotiations. If the insurance company is offering a settlement, they may be attempting to avoid a bigger payout later. The right attorney can help you assess the strength of your case and determine if any settlement offer made is fair.
Laws and insurance policies concerning matters of personal injury claims are complex and vary by jurisdiction. A personal injury attorney is specially trained to handle these kinds of complexities that a layperson likely won’t fully understand.
Evaluation of Damages
It takes an expert to determine the full extent of your damages. A lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence and assess the value of your claim, taking into consideration both monetary and non-monetary damages, including things like future medical costs, which may not be immediately apparent.
Statute of Limitations
There are time limits to file a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations. If you accept an offer without legal advice and later discover additional damages, you may not be able to pursue further compensation.
Currently, the statute of limitations for auto accidents in Florida is four years from the date of injury.
If negotiations between you and the insurance company break down, you may need to file a lawsuit. Having an attorney involved from the beginning can better position you should litigation become necessary.
An attorney can make sure that your rights are protected throughout the process. They can advise you on what information to provide, what information not to disclose, and how to navigate the complex process of settling a claim.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer
It may seem convenient to accept a settlement from an insurance company without consulting an attorney, but this can put you at a disadvantage. Insurance companies have professionals who handle their negotiations. As a layperson, you need an expert on your side who will protect your interests and maximize your compensation.
Our legal team has over 40 years of experience seeking justice for our clients who have been the victims of car accidents. Our attorneys have sought and won millions of dollars for our injured clients. Don’t allow your health and legal rights to go unaddressed after a car accident.
Call 850-601-1111 to schedule a complimentary consultation with no obligations. This consultation will help you explore your legal options. Let us help you fight for fair compensation.