You may be entitled to compensation if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault or was only partially your fault. You could have sustained harm due to a dog bite incident, a car crash or even a defective product that injured you.
Accepting the first settlement offer made by an insurance company or a responsible party is ordinarily not advisable unless the offer has been assessed by a legal professional. Hurriedly settling your demand for compensation may only provide temporary relief, which would not be in your best interests. Here is why.
You may not understand the full extent of your damages
Some injuries may take time to manifest and some damages may not be apparent until later. For instance, you may develop chronic pain, emotional distress or loss of earning capacity due to your injuries. If you settle too soon without a full scope of your damages, you may end up short-changing yourself.
You may not know the actual value of your claim
An insurance company’s initial offer may be based on a formula that does not consider all the factors that affect your case, such as the severity of your injury, the impact of your injury on your quality of life or the negligence of the other party. Besides, an insurer could only be after protecting its financial interests. Therefore, you may accept less than what your claim is worth if you settle too soon.
You may lose your right to pursue further compensation
Once you accept a settlement offer and sign a release form, you’ll almost certainly waive your right to sue the other party or the insurance company for any future claims related to your injury. It means that if you discover new injuries or damages later, or if your condition worsens, you cannot seek more money from them. You may have to foot any further bills on your own.
Seek personalized guidance
It helps to seek legal guidance before you accept any settlement offer from an insurance company or another interested party. An informed evaluation of your case, the damages you are entitled to and the value of your claim can help you make decisions that will protect your interests.