If you have been injured in an accident and are now dealing with the insurance company, you may have been offered a settlement. While this offer may be tempting, you must be careful before accepting it.
Understand What the Settlement Offer Means
Before accepting any settlement offer from the insurance company, it’s important to understand precisely what it entails. A settlement offer is simply a proposal from the insurance company to resolve your claim. Should you accept the offer, you will agree to a payment amount and waive any right to pursue further legal action. The settlement amount may cover damages like medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. You will still be responsible for paying off your medical balances and any liens on the settlement.
What Goes into a Settlement Offer?
Not all settlements are created equal. The offer amount may vary widely, depending on the circumstances of your case. Usually, the insurance company will consider factors like the severity of your injuries, the liability they bear for the accident, or any other damages such as lost income or rehabilitation costs. If they believe their offer is fair, they will present it to you.
Pros of Accepting a Settlement Offer
The only significant benefit of accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company early is that you get the settlement amount quickly.
Cons of Accepting a Settlement Offer
Usually insurance companies will low-ball settlement offers if you are not represented. If you accept the settlement offer from the insurance company, you will have to sign a waiver and you will lose the right to hold the other party accountable for any additional medical treatment you will need after the settlement. A settlement offer 5 days after an accident, even 5 weeks after an accident, will not take into consideration the full extent of your damages. In addition, there may be a lien on your settlement from a medical provider or health insurance company, which is why experts recommend seeking legal counsel before accepting a settlement offer from the at-fault driver's insurance.
Gainesville Personal Injury Lawyers
If you're facing the challenging decision of accepting an insurance settlement, the dedicated team at Schackow & Mercadante is here to help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will guide you through the process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for your rights. Contact us today at (352) 261-6767 for a free consultation, and let us assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.