Is It Wise to Accept the First Settlement Offer?
The answer to this question will depend on a variety of factors. If an
insurance company approaches you with a settlement offer extremely soon
after your accident, this may or may not be an attempt to get you to settle
for a lesser amount than you deserve. Your settlement offer should accurately
reflect the extent of the damages. If it does not, then it would not be
wise to accept this settlement. Once you accept a settlement, you cannot
ask for more.
It is also important to remember that the at-fault party's insurance
will only offer you up to the amount that the damage is worth. For example,
if your car was totaled in an accident, even if it was brand new, you
likely wouldn't get the full cost that you bought it for. This is
because the value goes down once you drive a car off the lot. The insurance
company is charged with determining how much the car is worth. You can
contest this though. If you believe that you are being offered less than
what you deserve, a lawyer from our firm could help you.
Insurance companies, because they are for-profit businesses, want to make
as much money as possible. Every car accident claim filed carries the
possibility of the insurance company losing money. Insurance companies
are required to pay out claims according to their policyholders' contracts,
but it may be difficult for a policyholder to know how much is appropriate.
This is where an attorney can benefit you. An attorney experienced in
car accident cases will be able to best determine how much you actually deserve. Shook
& Stone can evaluate your claim, see if there is any other areas where
you are deserving of compensation, and fight to see that you get it.