A settlement offer is an important part of a car crash claim. Georgia operates a fault-based car accident system, meaning the fault driver usually bears the financial consequences of a crash. Therefore, if you’re in an Atlanta car accident, you can recover compensation from the fault party. An Atlanta car accident attorney can help you file an insurance claim or a car accident lawsuit.
After receiving your demand letter, an insurer will most likely make you a settlement offer. Of course, you’ll only get an offer if the insurance company believes that your claim has merit. Importantly, though, vehicle collision victims are often unsure whether to accept this initial settlement offer from the company.
An experienced Atlanta car accident attorney will advise you not to accept an initial settlement amount. Many factors inform this popular advice, and we’ll explain the major ones. First, however, if you are the victim of a crash, don’t’ hesitate to seek legal representation. Such an attorney will ensure that you get the maximum compensation for your losses.
Why You Shouldn’t Accept the First Settlement Offer
Collecting an insurance company’s first settlement offer is a wrong move for several reasons. Below are the top considerations.
The First Offer Is Lower Than You Deserve
Like all other negotiators, insurance companies don’t initially offer to pay a claim’s true worth. Therefore, initial insurance settlement offers are usually too low. The insurer’s goal is to pay out as few claims as possible and increase their profits.
Accepting the first offer is often stress-free. So, they use this to convince and cajole accident survivors into accepting such low sums. An insurance adjuster will even try convincing you that they’ve done everything possible to get you the best deal. However, the chances are very high that you deserve a lot more than that initial sum. So, it’ll be best to reject the offer.
You Need Proper Assessment of Your Damages
Accurately assessing your damages is the only way to guarantee a settlement offer is reasonable. Notably, you cannot trust the insurance company with this job for obvious reasons. Furthermore, you cannot correctly determine how much you deserve within the first few weeks following the crash. It’s within these weeks that insurers make their first offer.
Therefore, it’ll help to hire an attorney to assess your claim accurately. Such an attorney will consider all relevant factors before reaching a figure. Where necessary, a good lawyer will even consult experts to ensure that you get the maximum possible compensation.
Accepting an Offer Is the Final Stage of the Compensation Process
Once you sign a settlement agreement, it’s final. You cannot reopen negotiations or file a lawsuit on the same facts. This is because liability release forms often accompany settlement contracts. In addition, filing a claim after accepting settlements only occurs in limited circumstances.
These include cases of fraud and where the signature was obtained by force. So, you cannot proceed against the insurance company for future losses. You must thus ensure that a settlement agreement contains all the money you need.
You May Be Eligible for Additional/Future Compensation
Your losses may appear minimal within the first few weeks of an accident. For example, you may not have paid heavy medical bills. However, your injuries may worsen in the future. Some wounds may not even show for some time. If you accept an offer during this period, you may personally have to bear future medical expenses. Furthermore, suppose you haven’t discovered all the classes of damages for which you’re eligible. Then, accepting an offer will mean giving up your right to possible additional compensation.
What To Do After Rejecting a Settlement Offer
You don’t just reject settlement offers without doing anything more. Instead, you ought to make a counter-offer to the insurance company. In addition, you should send this counter-offer with some documents.
These pieces of evidence justify the new sum you’re demanding from the company. Such documents would include medical records, photographic evidence, and other sources of evidence. This process often continues until both parties agree on a specific figure.
Let Our Atlanta Car Crash Lawyers Get You the Compensation You Deserve!
Have you been in an Atlanta car accident? It’ll be best to file a compensation claim if you have. First, however, you’ll need the best Atlanta car accident attorneys. At Bethune Law Firm, we have just the right lawyers for your case. Our attorneys have several combined decades of experience in winning car accident cases.
We’ve also dealt with several insurance companies. Therefore, we can navigate your dealings with the relevant insurer and get you the maximum compensation. So call us today for a FREE consultation.