You suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident. You had to spend some time in a hospital bed until you recovered enough to go home. Even though you are no longer in the hospital, you may need additional surgeries and other medical care, physical therapy and more.
As you contemplate your current circumstances and your future, you may begin to experience some anxiety about how you will pay for the care you need during your recovery. To make matters worse, you may not return to work for some time, so you will not have an income to support you and your family. Then an insurance adjuster offers you a check to settle your claim.
Should you accept that check?
Your trepidation about your financial well-being will more than likely make that check enticing. However, you need to understand that the insurance company is in business to make a profit. Paying you the amount of compensation you deserve would dip into those profits. Therefore, the first offer you receive will more than likely be far lower than you deserve, let alone need, in order to cover your financial losses.
The insurance adjuster will probably not tell you that you do not have to accept this first offer. One cannot bar you from recovery if you decide not to cash that check.
So, what should you do?
As you contemplate whether to accept an insurance company's settlement offer, consider the following:
- Review the information the insurance company used to come to that offer, and look at your current financial losses and the losses you could incur in the future. If the numbers don't add up, then you shouldn't accept the offer.
- Refuse the offer in writing. Take this opportunity to explain your reasoning, provide additional or rebuttal information, and discuss how your injuries changed your life, even if temporarily.
- Include a counteroffer in your refusal letter. This tells the insurance company where you feel the numbers need to be in order for you to settle the claim out of court.
- If you continue to receive low offers, the insurance company refuses to work with you or the negotiations stop, you may pursue your claim in a Georgia civil court.
Obviously, the above information presents in a much simpler way than it takes place in real life. There is much more involved in this process than one can cover here. In fact, this article probably raised more questions for you than answers. Fortunately, you can get the answers you seek and the help you need by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney.