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Should I accept the insurance company’s first offer?

Should I accept the insurance company's first offer
A motor vehicle collision can be traumatic and debilitating. If you were injured in an auto accident that was caused by the negligence of another, you’re most likely considering filing an insurance claim. Once you’ve filed a claim, you’ll soon be dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will record your statement and ask you several questions, to determine the amount of your settlement. In most cases, the settlement is never enough to cover the cost of all accident-related expenses, which is why you should never accept their first offer. 

Why Shouldn’t I Accept the First Offer?

Auto accident claims can be time-consuming and stressful, which is why it’s tempting to accept the first settlement offer, just to get the process over with. However, accident victims have a lot to gain by taking their time and considering the best options available to them. In most cases, you should never accept the first offer made by a claims adjuster.

The settlement you recover is important. It not only covers your current medical expenses but it also helps you get back on your feet. The costs you incur can include medical bills, vehicle repairs or replacement, lost wages, and other losses.

Because so much is at stake, you must take the settlement offer seriously and consider all factors before you accept. Consulting with a car accident lawyer at this time can ensure you’re pursuing every penny of compensation owed and that you don’t accept a settlement that’s much less than what your claim is worth.

Reasons to Decline the Initial Offer

Most claims adjusters will make a settlement offer before they even know the full extent of your damages. These fast settlement offers are much lower than what an accident victim deserves for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. While in the short term, an accident victim may benefit from the fast cash, in the long term they can end up cheating themselves out of thousands of dollars.

The insurance company’s goal is to pay accident victims as little as possible if anything at all. While denying accident victims the compensation they deserve seems unethical, it’s how an insurance company stays in business. An insurance company will try to make a lowball settlement offer to ensure they save their company money. In most cases, a claims adjuster will know that an accident victim’s injuries are worth more than what they’re offering, giving them room for negotiations. An initial settlement offer is usually the lowest possible offer.

What Happens If I Don’t Accept An Offer?

Accident victims are often tempted to accept the insurance company’s first offer because they’re worried that if they don’t the offer will be taken off the table or decreased. Auto accident cases can be very complex and the settlement amount will often depend on a variety of factors, such as who was at fault, the extent of your injuries, the extent of vehicle damage, and other variables. In most cases, the claims adjuster’s first offer is merely their way of kicking off the negotiation process.

When To Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

If you’re handling insurance negotiations, you’re probably dealing with physical injuries and other damages, which can be very stressful on your own. The last thing an injured accident victim needs is the additional stress that comes with negotiating with an aggressive claims adjuster. When you hire a car accident lawyer, they will handle every aspect of your case. They will use their extensive experience to determine the value of your claim, prove liability, and negotiate a fair settlement. They can also help you determine whether to accept a settlement offer or make a counteroffer.

Author

Ben Dominguez

Founder

Ben Dominguez, a seasoned attorney based in Houston, offers exceptional legal guidance and representation. With 27 years of experience, Ben has a strong track record of litigating high-profile cases, securing damages for clients, and achieving not-guilty verdicts in serious criminal charges. His expertise extends beyond the courtroom; he has spoken before Texas legislative committees, contributed to political campaigns, and engaged with national media. Located a block from the Museum of Fine Arts, his law firm embodies a commitment to justice, demonstrating a work ethic and personalized approach that are key to successful legal outcomes. Ben’s dedication to respect and understanding for all clients sets him apart in the legal field.  Learn More

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