It’s a question that many people ask: Should you accept the first settlement offer in your personal injury case? Our personal injury attorneys understand all the stress and difficulties that you’re going through. It’s always tempting to accept any offer to alleviate some of your financial struggles and get your life back on track.
However, the truth is that you should never accept the first personal injury settlement offer because you’re ultimately leaving money on the table. Here are four reasons why you should be patient when negotiating a settlement:
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Reason #1 – Maximizing Your Compensation
Pursuing compensation for your injuries will require you to file a personal injury claim. You’ll then have to negotiate a settlement with an insurance adjuster who wants you to accept less money than what your claim is worth. They’ll typically make a first personal injury settlement offer that doesn’t represent the compensation you deserve.
A good attorney will know how to calculate the damages in your case and request the amount of compensation that covers everything. Not only should you seek current damages, but you’ll also want to recover future damages. Depending on the severity of the accident, it could take years for you to recover fully.
Reason #2 – Knowing the Types of Damages You Can Recover
Compensatory damages can cover various things, and you should ensure that you don’t leave anything out of your claim. However, Insurance adjusters always hope you don’t know what you can recover. That’s why you need to do some homework before you agree to any personal injury settlement offer.
Here are some of the damages you can seek in a personal injury claim:
- Medical bills and ongoing healthcare expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Lifestyle adjustments
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
If the at-fault party was grossly negligent in causing your injuries, you can also pursue punitive damages against them. This is often done to deter them from putting more people at risk.
Reason #3 – The Adjuster Can’t Justify the Settlement Offer
Remember, the job of an insurance adjuster is to pay out a minimal amount of money. They often have a lot of experience dealing with personal injury claims, and they know which loopholes to exploit. However, you can ask the adjuster to explain how they arrived at the offer they propose.
Keep in mind that the adjuster will also make an offer based on the minimal amount they believe a jury will approve. However, they also know that you could easily win your case in court. This could even result in a verdict where you’re awarded a significantly higher settlement than the insurance company wanted to offer.
Rejecting the first offer and engaging in negotiations will allow you to obtain the settlement you deserve. It’s always possible that your case could go to trial, but this is something that insurance companies will try to avoid. A public court battle often brings substantial bad publicity, and the entire process can be very costly for different reasons.
Reason #4 – The Adjuster Wants You to Think You Have a Weak Case
The insurance adjuster will want you to believe that a few flaws in your case will drastically affect your settlement. For example, they’ll claim that there’s not that much damage to your car or that you had pre-existing injuries. However, the best personal injury attorney can use evidence and other legal strategies to corroborate the value of your claim.
Make the Most Out of Your Personal Injury Settlement Offer
Here at HHJ Trial Attorneys, we provide legal services for residents of San Diego pursuing personal injury claims. We will do everything we can to negotiate a settlement that fairly compensates you for your suffering. Schedule a consultation with us today, and we can begin reviewing your case immediately.
Testimonial from Claudia, Satisfied Personal Injury Client
Mr. Adam Hepburn and his firm, HHJ Trial Attorneys, took on our legal case. Mr. Adam Hepburn came recommended, luckily. We can’t thank Mr. Adam Hepburn and his firm for their stellar work throughout our entire legal case. If I had any questions or concerns, Mr. Adam Hepburn would quickly address my concerns either via email, cell phone or even on text. Mr. Adam Hepburn was very truthful, thoughtful when explaining the facts of my case, and extremely professional. If you’re on the fence with hiring Adam Hepburn and his firm, don’t be, he’s the best in the field. Adam won my case! Must hire him and his firm if you need his type of services.