This is the latest tactic of the insurance companies - very aggressively offering money early on after an accident and making you feel pressured to settle. I explained this very thoroughly in a response to another person. You can read that response here: http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/when-or-should-i-hire-a-lawyer-in-an-automobile-ac-616874.html#answer_987193
You have up to 2 years from the date of the accident to try to settle the case or file a lawsuit. The state of limitations is 2 years for accidents in the State of Oregon - it may be different if the accident was in another state. You son, would have longer than two years to settle his case because he is a minor child.
There is no reason not to go see a lawyer. In my experience all lawyers will give you a free consultation about car accidents, myself included. If you decide to let of us represent you, we will have you sign an agreement that allows us to take a percentage of the final payout when the case is over so you don't pay us any money upfront. Depending on the case you might be asked to pay expenses involved, like hiring an investigator, or hiring experts at trial, but many times attorneys will front those costs for you as well.
Bottom line - don't hesitate to get professional legal help, but do shop for the right attorney for your case by maybe talking to a couple before you decide.
The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.
You don't need to accept the settlement offer. Chances are, if you are attempting to negotiate with the insurer on your own, the offer is probably too low. You should speak with a personal injury attorney in your area. An attorney will be able to tell you what your claim is worth. I would not go it alone, even if you feel that your injuries are relatively minor. Good luck.
My comments are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications through Avvo should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Lawyers are licensed to practice on a state by state basis; do not act on information contained on this website without first speaking to an attorney licensed to practice in your state.
I agree with what has already been said by the other attorneys who responded.
My experience is that you rarely, if ever, get a fair offer without representation. However, deciding to hire an attorney is a very personal decision. Shop around and talk to some attorneys and then decide how you wish to proceed. The bottom line is that you cannot make a decision about whether to seek representation without talking to some lawyers to get an idea and their opinion about your situation. The right lawyer should be up front with you about what to expect though there is no way to guarantee any particular result.
Please do not include any confidential, secret or otherwise sensitive information concerning any potential or actual legal matter. These messages, questions or answers, do not create an attorney-client relationship and confidential or secret information included therein cannot be protected from disclosure. Rogoway Green LLP does not have a duty or a legal obligation to keep confidential any information that you provide to us. An attorney-client relationship is not formed unless and until an express agreement is reached between lawyer and client. Also, please note that our attorneys do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so. Please be advised and understand that Rogoway Green LLP will have no duty to keep confidential any information you provide unless and until an agreement is reached to represent you.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.