What are my rights if I verbally accept a settlement offer?

Man Holding a NO Piece of PaperIf the insurance company contacts you after a car accident caused by their insured, they may make you a settlement offer immediately. You may accept it but soon realize that the insurance company offered you far less compensation than you deserve under Virginia law.

Fortunately, you may be able to reject a verbal settlement offer. In addition, you have special protections if you signed a written settlement agreement and an experienced car accident lawyer did not represent you.

Your Right to Change Your Mind After Accepting a Verbal Settlement Offer

If you verbally accepted a settlement offer, you most likely can change your mind and revoke your acceptance. The insurance company could try to enforce the verbal agreement, but they would need to show that there was an offer, acceptance, and consideration, or value, given in the offer.

Whether you can cancel the verbal agreement will depend on the facts surrounding your acceptance. The agreement could be enforceable if the insurance company reviewed all the settlement terms in the conversation. However, if they just made an offer to pay you a certain sum without going over the details or told you that you would need to sign a release to complete the settlement, you can most likely change your mind.

You should never settle a claim without first consulting with a skilled car accident lawyer. If you verbally accept an offer and change your mind, you should retain an attorney as soon as possible. It is much more likely that you will be able to revoke a verbal agreement if you do so immediately.

Your Right to Cancel a Written Settlement Within Three Business Days Under Virginia Law

Most car accident settlements are completed in writing. The insurance company usually requires the victim to sign a Release where they agree to accept the settlement offer where they waive their right to pursue their claim in exchange for the payment.

It may be much more difficult or impossible to revoke a written settlement agreement. However, there is an exception to this rule. Under Virginia law, you have a right to cancel your acceptance after signing the release if the following conditions are met:

  • You settled your car accident claim within thirty days of the crash without a lawyer.
  • You cancel your acceptance in writing within three business days after signing the release.
  • You return the payment that the insurance company sent you.

Were you injured in a car crash in Virginia Beach or Norfolk caused by another driver? Do you need help settling your claim or canceling a verbal settlement agreement? Call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to learn about your options and how our dedicated car accident lawyers can aggressively fight for your rights.