Beware of Quick Settlement Offers During the Holidays

insurance claim settlement

Don’t Settle for Less this Christmas

You don’t ever want to be hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, but it can be even more devastating during the holidays. There’s a lot to do and personal injury can bring your life to a complete stop. In addition, it’s a time of good cheer—it can be hard to put on a positive face when you’re uncertain about your future. For those reasons, you may be inclined or susceptible to taking actions that compromise your rights. Insurance companies know the stress that comes with the holidays and won’t think twice about trying to cut their losses by offering you a quick settlement—one that, unfortunately, won’t meet your needs.

Even when the holidays are months away, there can be an inclination to want things wrapped up as quickly as possible, so that you have your money. It’s a delicate balance—you don’t want to wait unnecessarily long for compensation that may not come, but you should never focus solely on how quickly you can get compensation. Instead, it’s better to determine how much you are willing to give up (dollar-wise) to get immediate access to cash.

Some Things Just Take Time

It’s an old adage, but it’s true, particularly with respect to many personal injury lawsuits. If any of the following situations describe your case, you’ll need time to get an accurate assessment of your total losses:

  • You are still receiving treatment for your injuries—often, you won’t know for some time just how much your injury will affect your life and what kind of recovery you can expect. With a quick settlement, you’ll typically be expected to sign a release, so that the insurance company has no further liability for any medical expenses or other losses. If, however, you have injuries that initially seem minor, but get worse, you may be unable to get the insurer to pay for the treatment you need because of the release.
  • Your losses are substantial—the more money that’s at stake, the more likely insurance companies will engage lawyers to minimize the amount paid out.
  • It’s unclear exactly who was at fault, or to what degree—there may be multiple parties who contributed to the accident. It can take time to sort all that out.

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Accordingly, everything they do is calculated to maximize their profits. If they are offering a fast settlement, they’re doing so because it’s in their best interests, not yours. Often, it’s because they know that your claim is worth more and worry that you’ll retain legal counsel, who will bring out the facts to establish the company’s full liability.

It’s almost always a mistake to accept an insurance company offer before hiring legal counsel to represent you after a personal injury. The insurance company has no incentive to offer you the full value of your injury—in fact, you can expect that the first offer will be for significantly less than you deserve. Even if you end up negotiating a settlement, you’ll customarily end up with a larger recovery than if you take an early settlement offer.

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Accordingly, everything they do is calculated to maximize their profits. If they are offering a fast settlement, they’re doing so because it’s in their best interests, not yours. Often, it’s because they know that your claim is worth more and worry that you’ll retain legal counsel, who will bring out the facts to establish the company’s full liability.

It’s almost always a mistake to accept an insurance company offer before hiring legal counsel to represent you after a personal injury. The insurance company has no incentive to offer you the full value of your injury—in fact, you can expect that the first offer will be for significantly less than you deserve. Even if you end up negotiating a settlement, you’ll customarily end up with a larger recovery than if you take an early settlement offer.

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For 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.