Should you take the first insurance settlement after an accident?

In the days and weeks after experiencing a devasting motor vehicle accident, you likely want nothing more than to receive the insurance settlement you deserve. You have medical bills and repair costs to cover, but it can be difficult to afford them without proper compensation.

The insurance company will surely extend a settlement offer to you as quickly as possible, but there are risks to accepting this initial settlement. It is important to understand why the first settlement offer might not be fair and how you can secure the amount of compensation that is rightfully yours.

The risks of accepting the initial settlement

Even if you are eager for a return to normalcy following your accident, accepting the first insurance settlement offer may not be in your best interests. Insurers know that most people will do anything to put an accident behind them as quickly as possible and that they might not fully understand their own insurance policies. Many agents will not hesitate to take advantage of these tendencies in extending a lowball settlement.

The possibility of getting more money in court

If you know that the insurance company is lowballing you, your first course of action should be to negotiate for a more favorable settlement. In the event that they do not budge, you might take the matter to court. Be aware, though, that litigation entails certain filing fees that may make it less worthwhile to initiate a lawsuit.

Presenting a strong case in court can force an insurance company into a position in which they must pay you the settlement you deserve. Litigation is not a one-size-fits-all solution, however, so it is important to consider all your options before choosing whether or not to accept your accident settlement.

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