When you've been in a car accident, it can be tempting to accept the first settlement offer from your insurance company. After all, you want to put the whole ordeal behind you and move on with your life. But accepting the first offer is often a mistake – and can end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost compensation. Let's discuss why you should never accept the first settlement offer and what to do instead.
Why Insurance Companies Offer Low Settlements
One of the main reasons insurance companies offer low settlements is to save money. The less they pay out in claims, the more profits they can make. Another reason is that they know you may be feeling vulnerable and want to settle as quickly as possible before you have a chance to fully assess the extent of your damages.
Tactics Used to Undervalue Your Claim
Insurance companies have a variety of tactics they use to undervalue your claim. One common tactic is to downplay the severity of your injuries or claim that your injuries were pre-existing. They may also argue that you were partially at fault for the accident, which can reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Another tactic is to pressure you into settling quickly by offering a low settlement early on. They may also try to drag out the claims process in order to wear you down and get you to accept a lower offer out of frustration.
What You Can Do Instead
The best way to handle a settlement offer is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before accepting anything. A lawyer can review your case and help you determine how much compensation you are truly entitled to. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
It's important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This includes:
- Taking photos of the accident scene, any injuries
- Keeping detailed records of all medical treatments and expenses related to the accident
- Collecting witness statements, if possible
Be sure to also keep all communications with the insurance company in writing, and keep copies of all correspondence. This can provide valuable evidence if your case goes to court.
Accepting the first settlement offer from your insurance company may seem like the easy solution, but it can end up costing you in the end. Insurance companies are experts at undervaluing claims, and they have tactics they use to pressure you into accepting lower offers. By consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer and gathering as much evidence as possible, you can ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Don't settle for less than you deserve – insist on a fair settlement for your injuries and damages.
Durham, NC Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
At Wallace Pierce Law, our experienced car accident attorneys can help you receive the compensation you deserve. We understand the ins and outs of personal injury law and will fight for you to get a fair settlement from the insurance companies.
Contact us today at (919) 887-7892 or fill out our form online for a free consultation.