Sometimes car insurance companies give crash victims a deadline for accepting a settlement offer. There are other times when the insurance company expects a decision within a reasonable amount of time.
No matter what the insurance company says about when you need to decide, the key is to be patient. You should always review settlement offers with an experienced attorney. It is also important to remember you have the option to make a counteroffer. The first offer from the insurance company is often just the starting point for negotiations.
Schmidt Kramer’s experienced Harrisburg vehicle crash attorneys are ready to help you pursue full compensation for your damages. You can schedule a free legal consultation to learn more about our services and how we assist crash victims. We have obtained millions on behalf of crash victims throughout Pennsylvania.
Why do Insurance Companies Put Dates on Settlement Offers?
The insurance company’s goal is to pay as little compensation as the victim will accept. They hope that putting a deadline on a settlement offer will make you anxious and more willing to accept whatever is being offered. You are already dealing with medical expenses and may have missed significant time at work. You need money to help you and your family stay afloat during this difficult time.
Car insurance companies also like to lead crash victims to believe the first offer is the only one the insurance company is going to make. When you combine that with a deadline, victims may fear they are going to miss their chance to recover compensation.
Unfortunately, crash victims often do not realize the first offer from the insurance company is just a starting point. It may set a floor for negotiations. The first offer from the victim’s attorney may help to set a ceiling on a settlement offer. Insurers and attorneys typically meet somewhere in the middle if they reach a settlement.
Aspects of a Settlement Offer Victims May Not Consider
If the insurance company seems to be pressuring you to settle, it could be an indication you have a strong case. Their settlement offer is probably far below what you would be able to get from a jury in court. That is why the insurance company does not want to go to court. If you have a strong case, the insurance company is not going to want to push you to challenge them in court.
Another thing to consider is early settlement offers are unlikely to cover the full cost of your damages. It may take doctors a few weeks or longer to get a full understanding of the severity of your injuries. They also need time to determine if you have long-term physical or cognitive limitations from your injuries.
You may miss work for several days or longer, but you may be unable to return to work in the same capacity. It may take months or longer for you to be physically able to do your job in the same capacity as before your injury. In some cases, victims may be unable to do the same job ever again.
Your doctors need time to determine the full scope of your injuries. Your attorney also needs time to investigate to determine the full value of your claim.
It is generally a bad idea to accept a quick settlement offer.
Deciding Whether to Accept or Decline a Settlement Offer
It is normal for crash victims to have a lot of questions about their legal options and whether to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company. The important thing to remember is you do not need to figure out what to do on your own. You can contact an attorney to discuss the situation.
Our attorneys are prepared to review your situation in a free consultation. If we validate your claim and you choose to hire our firm, we can manage the legal process on your behalf. This includes negotiating with the insurance company and considering any settlement offers they make.
We know how to determine if a settlement offer is fair and provides the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Some of the factors we will likely need to consider include:
- Severity of your injuries
- Damage to your vehicle and the others involved
- Other losses you suffered
- Missing work
- Long-term damage to your ability to work
- Evidence that is available to prove your case
- And more
If you want to improve your chances of recovering full compensation, hiring an attorney may do that. Studies have shown crash victims who hire attorneys often recover more than those who work alone.
Call Schmidt Kramer Today to Discuss Your Crash
If you were injured in a crash caused by another driver, we may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages. Our services also come with no upfront cost and the initial consultation to determine if we can help you is free.
We have secured compensation from many insurance companies in a wide variety of auto accident cases. We have also taken many cases to court, as we are deeply committed to securing full compensation.
Experienced Attorneys. Proven Results. Call today: (717) 727-1403.