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Don't Accept the Insurance Company's First Offer After an Accident


If you are involved in a car crash, the insurance adjuster will make an initial offer for your injuries and property damage. Many people mistakenly believe the insurance company is on their side because why else would they so quickly want to send money your way? Do not be tricked into complacency by a friendly advertisement. Insurance companies usually work against you, and it’s nothing personal.

Most of the time, the insurance company is trying to avoid paying the full amount you deserve for your damages. They are a business like any other and focus mainly on making a profit. By getting you to agree to a quick and undervalued settlement, they can boost their end-of-year profit margins.

With this in mind, after most car accidents, you will probably want to refuse the insurance company’s initial offer. Working with a car accident attorney at the start of your claim can provide necessary insight when to make that call, though.

Initial Offers Are Almost-Always Low

Insurance companies intrinsically care about their wallets because they are a business. Helping people in need is just a secondary effect of their business model.

If you have been injured in an accident, you should be wary of accepting the insurance adjuster’s first offer because it will more than likely be lowballed. A lowball settlement offer is an offer that has been intentionally priced at an amount lower than what the insurance company expects the claim’s final value to be.

Even if you think you will not need a lot of compensation after an accident, it is still not a good idea to settle until you are certain of your damages. The easiest way to get a strong idea of your total damages is by allowing an injury lawyer to assist with your claim.

One Signature Ends Your Claim Entirely

When you sign an insurance release form, you are essentially releasing the insurance company of any responsibility to pay you more compensation later on. This means, if you discover injuries weeks or months after the accident, you will be unable to pursue more compensation from the insurance company to help pay for medical costs associated with those newly discovered injuries. You could be left to pay the extra expenses out of your own pockets, which could put you in financial distress.

Insurance companies know that most people don’t know that a single signature is all it takes to permanently close the book on a car accident claim. Again, they will send a lowball settlement offer your way in hopes you jump at the chance for any amount of money. If you officially accept the offer, no matter how minimal it might be, then your claim is most likely done.

Reach Your Maximum Medical Improvement

The point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) refers to the point at which you have healed as much you are expected to heal using available medical treatments and technologies. Your doctor will determine when you reach your MMI. Basically, even if you still suffer from residual pain or other symptoms, there are no other medical treatments available to help you recover further at that point. Everything that can be done to heal your injuries has been, and there is nothing else your doctor can reasonably do.

Once you reach the MMI, it will be safer to accept a settlement from the insurance company because you will have a clearer understanding of the cost of your past, present, and expected future medical expenses. Remember: Signing a settlement offer is final. If you do not reach your MMI and do not know how much longer you could be experiencing complications from your injuries, then it will be almost impossible to get a fairly calculated settlement offer.

Legal Help in Woodbridge, New Jersey

With more than 90 years of combined legal experience, Palmisano & Goodman, P.A. in Woodbridge provides compassionate legal assistance to injured clients from all walks of life. Insurance companies will try to limit the amount of compensation you receive, and they may also dispute your claim. Our personal injury lawyers have the necessary experience and knowledge of New Jersey’s legal systems and liability laws to fight on your behalf.

Contact our office today and receive a free initial case evaluation. Dial (732) 709-4400 now.