Do I Need An Attorney If I Was Offered A Settlement By The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company?
If you have been hurt in an auto accident, it is important that you talk with an attorney. This may be especially true if you have been offered a settlement by the other driver’s insurance company. An attorney may help you make sense of the offer and determine if it is in your best interest to accept it.
The Insurance Company Is Looking Out For Itself
It is important to understand that an insurance company is looking out for its own interests when it offers a settlement. It is a business just like a grocery store or any other company that you buy goods or services from. Every dollar that they have to give you is a dollar in lost profit that could be given to their shareholders. Therefore, you can expect any proposed settlement to be less than what you may be entitled to at trial.
Don’t Let Emotion Guide Your Decision
It is never a good idea to let emotion dictate whether or not you are going to accept a settlement offer. The insurance company is betting that you are desperate for whatever financially assistance that you can get. However, it is important to know that your attorney can work to get your doctors and others to hold off on getting paid until after your case has been settled. This means that you can focus on getting better and getting the compensation that you deserve without having to take the first offer that you are given.
Insurance Companies Know That You Don’t Know the Law
Insurance companies are aware that you may not fully understand your rights in a personal injury case. Therefore, they may present their offer as the best one that you are going to get. They may try to scare victims into thinking that it is also the final offer available to settle their cases.
However, these companies also know that attorneys have a more complete understanding of the law. Since they cannot manipulate or intimidate your legal counsel, they are more likely to offer a higher amount to resolve the case as quickly as possible. This means that you get more for your pain and suffering or emotional distress. It may also mean that you get compensated for lost wages and future earnings.
Settlement Agreements are Usually Final
The best reason to review a settlement agreement with an attorney is because such agreements are usually binding. In other words, once you agree to settle, you waive your right to seek compensation in the future. Therefore, you could be giving up thousands of dollars or more in compensation without knowing that you are leaving money on the table.
Settling May Be In Your Best Interest
While you don’t want to take the first settlement offer that you are given, it doesn’t mean that a settlement isn’t ultimately in your best interest. Your attorney will review the circumstances and facts in your case to determine whether to settle or go to trial. Accepting a settlement may allow your case to be resolved in a timely manner in the event that the other side is willing to give you what you want.
It is almost never in your best interest to accept a settlement offer without first talking to an attorney. Legal counsel will be able to review the deal to ensure that it is in your best interest. If it is not, he or she will work with you to craft a better deal. In some cases, a settlement cannot be reached, which means a jury may decide your auto accident case after a formal trial.