For most people who sustain a personal injury and choose to take legal action, their claim will typically end during the settlement process. During this period, the insurance companies are determining the appropriate payment to the plaintiff depending on the injuries they claim to have. While from the outside this may seem like a straightforward process, a lot can go into determining whether the offer received is sufficient. Here is how you can know when is the right time to take the offer.
Knowing What Your Case is Worth
The first step is understanding what your case is worth. This will give you a baseline to start from when the insurance company first makes an offer. If you have a good idea of what your case is worth, you will be less likely to accept an offer that is too low.
There are many factors that go into calculating the value of a personal injury case, including:
- The severity of the injuries
- The cost of medical treatment
- Lost wages due to missed work
- Pain and suffering
- How the injury will affect your life long-term
Once you have a general idea of the value of your case, you can start discussing this with the insurance company. They may immediately come to you with an initial offer; however, you are under no obligation to accept it right away.
The Negotiation Process
You can always negotiate with the insurance company, even if you have an attorney. It is typically in your best interest to do so. If you have already hired an attorney, they will likely do the negotiating for you. However, you should still be involved in the process and provide input on any settlement offers.
If you are comfortable doing so, you can also negotiate directly with the insurance company without hiring an attorney. This could potentially save you money on legal fees. However, it is important to keep in mind that insurance companies are not always forthcoming with their best offer when dealing directly with a plaintiff. They may try to take advantage of your lack of legal knowledge. It is important to be as informed as possible before beginning any negotiations.
How Do I Know If The Offer is Fair?
It can be difficult to determine whether the offer from the insurance company is fair. If you are unsure, you can always ask your attorney for their opinion. They will likely have experience dealing with similar cases and will be able to give you a good idea of whether the offer is fair.
You should also keep in mind that any settlement offer is usually less than what your case is actually worth. This is because it is typically cheaper for the insurance company to settle out of court than to go to trial. If you do not feel like the offer is fair, you can counter with a higher number. The back-and-forth process will continue until you and the insurance company reach an agreement on a settlement amount.
So... When Should I Accept?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the personal injury claims process, as each case is unique. However, in general, you should only accept a settlement offer when you are confident that it is fair and you are ready to move on from the incident.
If you have any lingering doubts about the offer, it is usually best to wait a bit longer or to counter with a higher number. If the insurance company does not budge, you can also consider taking your case to trial. This is usually a last resort, as it can be costly and time-consuming. However, it may be necessary if you feel like you are not being offered a fair settlement.
How Our Texas Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
When you need legal assistance after a personal injury, Law Offices Of Vic Feazell, P.C. can help evaluate your claim and negotiate on your behalf. Our skilled attorneys in Waco and Austin provide a range of services that can help secure the settlement you deserve. Get started today with a free consultation by calling (254) 938-6885.