The answer is that no one should settle their case with the insurance company before speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. Anyone who approaches you with a settlement offer is working for the insurance company and not for you. Rarely will an insurance company make an offer that fairly compensates an injured person when it is made immediately or shortly after an accident.
In virtually every case the insurance company is trying to save itself as much money as possible. Furthermore, if you do accept a cash settlement from the insurance company for your injury you will have to sign a general release that ends the case. Once you give the release to the insurance company, you won’t be able to collect any additional compensation for your injuries even if your injuries become much worse.
Why Accepting a Cash Settlement from the Insurance Company Could Be a Bad Idea
When an insurance company receives a claim they are required to cover, they may offer you a cash settlement early on in the process or even at a later date. While a cash settlement might sound appealing, especially if you cannot afford the care needed to treat the injuries you suffered, it usually doesn’t benefit you to accept the early settlement.
When you accept a cash settlement from the insurance company, you risk not being compensated for some or all of the injuries and losses you suffered.
You may discover complications later
For example, you slipped and fell inside of a store in New York and learned you sustained a back injury. At the beginning of your case, it may not be clear if surgery is required or what kind of care you will need to undergo to heal from your injuries.
If you settle your claim while believing that you have a relatively minor back injury and later you discover that surgery is required to relieve your intensifying pain or that you are having trouble walking, you will not be able to pursue your newly discovered injury claims.
If you were to accept a cash settlement too early in the process without first taking the time to truly understand the extent of your injuries, the insurance company’s initial offer will not fully compensate you for the pain and suffering that you will continue to experience, the loss of earnings or income that you may incur or for the medical care that you may need in the future.
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Factors to Consider Before Accepting a Cash Settlement from the Insurance Company
Below are a few things to consider before rushing into accepting a cash settlement from the insurance company adjuster for your premises liability injuries and damages.
The Extent of Your Injuries
Until your physician has determined what injuries you suffered and has provided you with a prognosis, you don’t really know what type of care and treatment you will need. For instance, let’s assume that you started to treat your back injury with therapy and medication, which are two forms of treatments your doctor might use (according to the Mayo Clinic).
While this might help to suppress the pain, you could find that it doesn’t correct the problem. If you were to accept a settlement and then later learn that the only way to repair the damage the accident caused is by undergoing surgery, your settlement won’t include the costs associated with surgery, the significant pain and suffering that you will endure, or the loss of income that you will experience.
Therefore, it may be a good idea to wait before accepting a cash settlement to ensure that the extent of your injuries has been fully determined and your damages including future medical expenses are accurately evaluated.
Your Ability to Work
Before you accept a cash settlement, you want to be sure that you have taken into consideration how your injuries have and will impact your ability to work. For instance, the Mayo Clinic reports that if you suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), this can affect your memory and ability to concentrate.
After suffering a TBI, you may not be able to work in the same position you had prior to your accident. In fact, you may not be able to work at all, depending on how serious your injuries are.
Without a steady paycheck coming in, you may find it difficult to afford your everyday expenses, including rent, utilities, and food. Therefore, it is important that any settlement include compensation for any wages or income you were unable to earn and may continue to lose into the future.
How Your Injuries Are Impacting Your Life
If you’ve noticed that life just isn’t the same after suffering a premises liability injury, you may be entitled to seek just compensation. If you are living with pain or suffering from anxiety or depression or you cannot do some of the things you once enjoyed doing, your settlement should reflect this.
Because insurance companies know that once you have time to properly assess your injuries and losses, they will have to pay out more money, the adjuster may try to offer you a settlement soon after the incident occurred. If you aren’t sure whether you should accept it or whether it is a fair amount, an experienced personal injury lawyer can look over your offer and provide you with guidance.
Before Accepting the Insurance Company’s Settlement, Contact the Attorneys at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates
If you were injured on someone else’s property in the New York metropolitan area and you want to be sure the insurance company is offering you a reasonable and fair amount, contact a representative from Dansker & Aspromonte Associates. Our injury lawyers strive to protect the rights of injury victims and help them obtain the best possible outcome in their case.