If you have been seriously injured in a Dallas-Fort Worth car wreck or other accident, it is very likely that you will be contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance company. If they know that their insured was the person responsible for causing your injuries, there is a very good chance that they will offer you money immediately. This is known as a settlement offer. However, before you accept their offer it is important that you consider whether doing so is the best decision. While taking an initial settlement offer may be seem like the best option in the moment, it is good to consider all aspects of the settlement, such as whether or not the settlement amount would cover the expenses that the car accident created. If the settlement offer is below the amount that you have already spent (such as on medical bills, repairs for the vehicle), or if there are future medical expenses that would clearly exceed the settlement amount, then hiring a personal injury attorney would be the best option, as will be discussed below.
Sometimes, taking an initial insurance settlement offer might seem like the right decision. For example, if your car has been totaled or needs significant repairs, accepting their offer will allow you to get back on the road sooner rather than later. But will their offer also cover all your medical needs too? Will it cover treatment, such as MRIs, CT scans, and rehabilitation both now and in the future? These questions are worth considering, because it would determine whether accepting an initial settlement offer from the insurance company of the at-fault driver is a good choice or not. It is important to note that insurance companies are in the business of making money, which is why making a quick, low settlement offer would save them a great amount of money; but it also means that you (the injured victim of the car accident) are losing a substantial amount of money in compensation.
Why the Claims Process Should Not Be Rushed
If you have been badly injured, chances are you will require medical treatment. Even if you didn’t go to the ER after your crash, you may begin to experience aches and other pains in the days or weeks following your accident. It is unlikely that the insurance company’s initial settlement offer will cover the full cost of the medical care you will require as a result of being injured.
Furthermore, if the liable insurance company is rushing to offer you a check so soon after the accident, it is because they probably already realize that a fair settlement would be significantly more than you may yet be aware of. By getting you to accept their initial offer, however, it means the insurance company can get away without having to pay you any more money later on, once you have determined the true cost of being injured.
If you accept the insurance company’s first offer of money, you cannot go back to them later to ask for more. If you cash their check, it’s case closed. Period. It is not uncommon for the victims of car accidents to sign a settlement offer (after they were rushed by the insurance company to make a quick deal), take a low settlement amount, and then regret making that decision because of pain showing up weeks after the accident. Remember, even though it does not appear that there are injuries such as sprained/strained muscles, damaged discs, pulled tendons (or any other types of injuries) that show weeks, even months after an accident has occurred, which is why hiring a personal injury attorney is considered a great option for your protection against future medical bills and other accident-related expenses.
How an Injury Lawyer Can Help You Get the Medical Care You Need
Although accepting whatever money the insurance company might offer you up front is most certainly always very tempting, in many cases it is not in your best interest to do so. For example, if you have been injured and require medical treatment, any initial settlement the insurance company offers you is not going to go far when it comes to paying for the urgent and necessary medical care you need.
Even if you have health insurance – but especially if you don’t – the cost of healthcare to treat car crash injuries can be significant. It may be in your best interest to hire a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer who can help you do obtain medical treatment immediately with a letter of protection, which means your doctor will defer their payment until your case is successfully resolved with the insurance company.
Taking this approach means that you will get the medical treatment you need now, while your attorney works on getting you the full and fair settlement you truly deserve from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In many cases, by working with an attorney, your overall medical bills may be less than if you had sought treatment and tried to handle your insurance claim on your own.
Call the Anderson Law Firm today for a free consultation with one of our board certified personal injury lawyers to discuss your situation and find out how we can help you. Call us toll free from anywhere at 800-354-6275 or locally in Fort Worth at 817-294-1900. Please, feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
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