Very soon after a car accident, I was offered what I thought were pretty generous terms for an injury claim. Do I have to take the first thing offered to me?
Trucking Accident Lawyer
The simple answer is no. However, depending on injuries, the amount of coverage, any Subrogation claims from medical providers, etc. the "generous" offer may not be that generous. You should consult with a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies aren't known for doing the right thing.
Sexual Harassment Attorney
In addition to being an attorney I am a volunteer EMT/Firefighter First Responder. My father is a doctor and professor of medicine. My wife is a R.N. We always tell our clients to wait at least a few months to make sure they are feeling 100% before considering accepting or making any settlement offer. I think it wise to have an attorney repr4esent you unless your injuries were minor.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
No, you don't have to take the first offer. As Kevin recommended, I would make sure you are 100% healed up before you accept any offer from the insurance company. Often times, they will come in at the beginning of the claim and offer you a settlement before you even know the true extent of your injuries. As Daniel mentioned, you also need to consider any subrogation interest that may be out there before you even consider accepting an offer from the insurance company. For example, if your health insurance company paid for your treatment, then they may be entitled to "subrogation" (ie. reimbursement from any money you receive from the responsible party). I would encourage you to consult with a personal injury attorney regarding your best course of action. Most personal injury attorneys will offer you a free initial consultation to discuss your rights and best course of action. When someone calls me and they have a good offer based on the facts of their claim, then I advise them to take the offer. I would find a lawyer that will give you an honest assessment prior to settling your claim. Remember the insurance company is looking out for their bottom line--not for you.
Personal Injury Lawyer
In fact, a common tactic by insurance companies is to offer fast settlements in hopes you do not hire an attorney. Once you accept the settlement and sign the Release, you can't come back for more money.