What should I do if the insurance company offers me a quick settlement of my claim?

Signature Line on Settlement PapersIf a truck driver caused your injuries in a truck accident, you will often receive a quick offer to settle your claim from their insurance company. You may consider taking it because you need the money to replace your lost income while you are off work recovering from your injuries and to pay your expensive medical bills.

However, accepting the first offer from the insurance company would not be in your best interests if you want to receive all the compensation you deserve under Virginia law. Here are three reasons why you should say no to the insurance adjuster’s offer.

#1: The Offer Is Too Low

The insurance company knows that you probably need the money right away and is trying to take advantage of this fact to entice you to settle your claim quickly. However, their first offer will most likely be for far less than you deserve. They are offering it to you because they know that they face liability to pay you and will save money if you accept their first offer.

#2: Your Settlement Will Be Final

Another reason not to accept the first amount offered by the insurance company is that your settlement will be final once you complete it. The insurance adjuster would require you to sign a Release of All Claims form where you would agree that the settlement would be a complete resolution of your claim before sending you your check.

This means that if you later discovered that you needed more medical treatments or had to be off work for longer than you thought, that you would not receive any additional compensation for these losses. You would not be able to reopen your claim or file a new one.

#3: It’s Too Early to Know How Seriously You Were Injured

You should not accept any settlement from the insurance company until you reach your maximum medical improvement. This is one of the following stages in your recovery:

  • You fully recovered from your injuries.
  • You recovered as much as you can from your injuries, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis on the medical treatments you will need in the future. They will also be able to advise you on how your injuries will impact your ability to return to your current or another job.

It could take you months or longer to reach this stage of your medical care, especially if you suffered more than one injury. However, it is crucial not to settle your claim before then so that all of your future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering are included in your settlement.

In addition, you should never accept any offer from the insurance company without first consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer. They will be able to accurately value your claim and will fight the insurance company to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery.

Do you need help negotiating your settlement with the trucking company’s and trucker’s insurance company? Call our Norfolk office today to schedule a free initial consultation to learn about your options and how we can assist you.