During COVID-19, Should I Take the First Settlement Offer?

professional in suit with pen and documentsThe ongoing pandemic has changed a lot of the ways that we work and live. So, it is not surprising that it has also impacted those seeking compensation after a car accident. Injured victims may believe that during the ongoing pandemic their only option is to accept an insurance company’s first settlement offer. However, doing so may leave you paying for additional costs out of your own pocket.

Greg Coleman Law explains why the insurance company may be tempting you with a quick settlement offer and how it may actually cost you more money in the long run.

Call our offices to schedule a free meeting with one of our qualified attorneys. It is an easy way to get answers to your questions and you can also find out if you may have a valid legal case. There is no cost or obligation for this service. We are prepared to help.

First Insurance Offers Are Typically Too Low

It is important to understand not just that it is common practice for insurance companies to send injured victims a lowball offer, but also why.

From your perspective, you are rightfully using the policy you purchased – or the policy of the negligent party – to recover compensation for the damages you suffered.

However, from the insurance company’s perspective, they are a business, and it is not in their best interest to pay you more than they have to. This is the reason that an insurance adjuster will go to great lengths to deny or devalue your claim.

Insurance companies know that sending a quick offer to an injured victim may sound like a lot of money. Unfortunately, that initial amount is sure to be too low, leaving victims responsible for the remaining costs.

What Initial Settlement Offers Do Not Include

When an insurance company offers a quick settlement offer, it is typically before the injured party has reached his or her maximum medical improvement (MMI). This means that many other considerations will not be part of that initial offer, such as:

  • Lost wages – As long as you are unable to work and recovering, you are still losing income.
  • Future earnings – Until you reach your MMI and doctors determine whether you are left with any permanent impairments or disabilities that may impact your ability to work, this number cannot be accurately calculated.
  • Medical costs – While you are still recovering and receiving treatments for your injuries, those expenses are also still accruing.
  • Pain and suffering – Non-economic damages, including emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, loss of companionship and other losses should also be included in your final settlement.

A knowledgeable attorney will work hard to determine all of your damages and fight to make sure you receive compensation for them. However, once you accept an insurance company’s offer, you will likely be unable to pursue any other legal action for compensation. This is why we strongly recommend that you speak with an attorney before agreeing to any settlement.

How Insurers Get Away with Paying You Less

Insurance companies know that when people are unable to work, they may be stressed about finances and quicker to accept any offer that looks like a lot of money. They also know that an injured person is still vulnerable while healing and typically less familiar with how legal claims work. In fact,  insurance companies often call accident victims while they are still recovering for that very reason.

COVID-19 may further impact a personal injury claim because:

  • Those who do not seek medical care after an accident because they are afraid of being exposed to COVID- 19 may be unable to prove the severity of their injuries – or that the insurer’s policyholder caused them.
  • Accident victims may not call for legal help because they do not know they can safely meet with a lawyer without leaving their home.
  • Amid the financial struggles of the pandemic, more accidents may involve uninsured drivers.

Your Claim May Benefit from Hiring an Attorney

At a high level, injured victims who hire an attorney to represent them typically recover more compensation than if they pursue a claim on their own.

Our Knoxville-based personal injury lawyers have been handling these types of cases for decades, so we have extensive experience dealing with the insurance companies. Additionally, we are skilled negotiators who are prepared to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. We have the resources and staff to gather the evidence you need to build and support a strong case.

After meeting with one of our qualified attorneys in a completely free, no-obligation meeting, you decide whether to hire our firm. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay us up front or throughout the legal process. We only get paid at the conclusion of your case – and only if we recover compensation for you. Essentially, there is zero risk to find out more about your legal options. Call our firm today. We stand ready to help.

Experienced Lawyers. Millions Recovered. (865) 247-0080