You just lost your loved one in a horrible car crash or suffered injuries so severe that you can’t return to work for the foreseeable future. Being out of work or losing a spouse’s income can quickly become a financial nightmare for your family.
When you receive an offer for a settlement on your claim from the insurance company involved, likely the company that insured the other driver, you may find yourself thinking that you need the money now.
Too many people eagerly accept an initial settlement offer from an insurance company, only to later come to regret that decision. Many times, especially if it’s the first offer, a settlement offer for a wrongful death or serious personal injury will benefit the insurance company more than you.
You may not yet realize the true impact of the circumstances
Whether you’re grieving the death of a loved one or adjusting to life with a severe injury, such as a brain injury or a lost limb, it can be hard to understand the long-term implications of your changed circumstances. Because of that, it can be difficult to estimate the financial costs associated with the accident and the death or injury it caused.
Insurance companies count on you needing money and not knowing what the financial consequences of the crash will be in the long term. You owe it to yourself to look carefully at your finances to determine how the crash will impact your family before you agree to any specific amount of compensation.
Insurance companies limit liability when you sign a settlement
It is standard for people to waive their right to future compensation when they accept a settlement from an insurance company. In other words, if you find out that there are still more costs from the crash in the future, you won’t be able to go back to the insurance company and ask them for additional compensation.
Unless you can prove that they acted in bad faith by making a settlement that was far too low for the circumstances, once you accept a settlement, it will be hard to hold the insurance company accountable.
Countering an initial settlement offer with a more realistic figure and actively negotiating for better terms early on can go a long way toward protecting your family and your finances after a crash impacts your life, even if it means you may have to wait longer for the compensation.