Insurance companies often offer quick settlements to resolve personal injury claims. They want to get accident victims to agree to insurance settlements before they talk with an accident attorney or realize how much their claim is worth.
Before speaking with an insurance adjuster or investigator, talk with a Miami accident lawyer. You cannot trust the insurance company to tell you whether their offer to settle the claim is fair. The only way to know whether a settlement agreement is in your best interest is to talk with a trusted personal injury lawyer.
Should I Ever Accept a Settlement Offer From an Insurance Company?
Accepting a settlement offer means you give up the right to sue for damages. If you discover additional damages or injuries, you cannot pursue a legal claim against the other parties because you waived that right when you signed the settlement agreement.
Therefore, it may not be in your best interest to accept a settlement offer without legal advice. On the other hand, if you sustained minor injuries, your doctor released you from care without permanent impairments, and you know the value of your damages, you might not need a lawyer to settle an accident claim.
However, personal injury claims are rarely straightforward. What appears to be a simple case could quickly become a disputed claim. Therefore, it is always beneficial to have a lawyer review a settlement offer before accepting it.
Signs That You Need Legal Advice Before Accepting a Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company
Some factors strongly suggest that you need a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case. Those factors include:
You Sustained Serious Injuries
Serious injuries increase the value of a personal injury claim. However, they can also complicate a settlement.
Catastrophic injuries often result in permanent impairments. You could be entitled to compensation for future medical expenses, diminished earning potential, and long-term nursing care. Placing a value on future damages and permanent disabilities is challenging.
The insurance company will downplay future damages. However, an attorney will work with medical experts, financial professionals, and other expert witnesses to accurately determine the severity of your injuries to value your damages properly.
The Case Involves a Government Entity
Most claims against the government are barred by sovereign immunity. However, Florida has waived sovereign immunity in certain tort actions. But suing the government for an injury claim or accident is complicated.
A different set of rules governs injuries involving government entities. For example, the statute of limitations for a claim against the government is very short. Failing to file a notice of claim before the deadline means you give up the right to pursue a claim.
It is best to speak with an injury lawyer as soon as possible after accidents involving government vehicles, slips and falls on public property, or other injuries involving a government employee or agency.
You Are Unsure About the Damages You Can Recover
Most people know they can recover compensation for their economic damages after an accident or personal injury.
Those damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy
- Nursing care
- Diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage
- Personal care
However, accident victims may not know they are entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. A claims adjuster will not tell you that you can receive compensation for your non-economic damages.
Those damages include:
- Physical suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Impairments and disabilities
Unless you understand the types of damages you could receive, you might accept a settlement agreement far below the value of your case. Therefore, relying on a claims adjuster to tell you how much your claim is worth is not wise.
You Are Being Blamed for the Accident
A common tactic insurance companies use is blaming the victim for contributing to the cause of their injury. Florida’s pure comparative fault laws reduce the amount of compensation a victim receives if they are partially to blame for their injury.
Claims adjusters frequently ask for recorded statements or written statements. However, they use these statements to shift blame for the accident to the victims.
You should not agree to provide a statement or answer questions on a recorded line without first talking with a lawyer. Innocent statements you make could be twisted and intentionally misinterpreted to lower the amount of money you receive for your claim.
Your Accident Involves Multiple Parties
There could be more than one party liable for your damages. An example might be a chain reaction car crash or a semi-truck accident. Identifying all liable parties and gathering evidence to prove fault could be a time-consuming, expensive, and complex process.
The parties and insurance companies involved try to shift the blame to each other. The result is a confusing battle that could result in the accident victim receiving less money than they deserve. An attorney has the experience and resources to sort out the question of fault and liability.
Insurance Companies Look Out for Their Best Interests
Your injury case is unique. Many factors can complicate settlement negotiations. If you don’t understand your legal rights thoroughly, you could accept a settlement far below your case’s value.
The insurance company has a team of professionals working to ensure that it does not pay any more money than absolutely necessary to settle a claim. These individuals will take advantage of accident victims who don’t have legal representation.
Miami personal injury attorneys work for you. Their only priority is getting you the money you deserve. Accident lawyers even the playing field by providing the skills, resources, and experience necessary to fight insurance companies for fair settlements.
Meeting with a personal injury lawyer in Miami typically does not cost you anything. Therefore, you can obtain a free case evaluation to ensure that the insurance company treats your claim fairly.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Before Accepting a Settlement Offer From an Insurance Company
Before accepting a settlement agreement, contact an experienced Miami personal insurance attorney to review your case. The insurance claims adjuster works to lower the value of your personal injury claim. Let a lawyer work to get you the maximum compensation available for your accident claim.