In the Aftermath of a Personal Injury, Don’t Take a Settlement Offer without Talking to an Attorney
When you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident because of the carelessness or wrongful act of another person, you may not know where to start to get compensation for all your losses, from the costs of medical care to lost income, from loss of companionship to the physical pain and suffering you experience every day. Under those circumstances, it can feel like a relief when your insurance agent or adjuster is proactive about your claim and seems ready and willing to help as much as possible.
BEWARE! Your insurance company has a vested interest in paying as little as possible to settle your claim. They have a much better understanding than you do of the potential consequences of your accident, and their primary goal is to minimize their obligation to you. Here’s how they often operate:
- Your insurance company will offer to pay for all losses related to your vehicle. They’ll do this to lead you to believe that they just want to be fair and do the right thing. The reality is that they have no other option. If they admit that you were liable, they must pay for the vehicle.
- At the same time, or within days, they’ll offer you a cash settlement to cover all your medical bills. It may be $1,000 or $1,500, and it will seem like a lot of money, especially if you only have minor aches and pains at the time you settle. But in exchange, they’ll ask you to sign a release, which means you can’t obtain reimbursement for any other medical expenses.
- In some situations, insurance adjusters will actually initiate the contact (before you’ve even filed a claim), saying that want to take swift action to make certain you get the help you need. What they usually want to do is get you to sign a release before your injury becomes too serious.
The unfortunate reality is that many of the most debilitating injuries often take a little bit of time to cause you serious pain, discomfort or problems. Insurance companies know this and hope to get you to accept a quick settlement and sign a waiver before the injury really flairs up. If an insurance adjuster contacts you, don’t sign or agree to any settlement and don’t make any statement. Tell them where the car is and tell them that you are sore, and then call your attorney.
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.