After a catastrophic event, whether it be a workplace accident, serious injury, motor vehicle accident, injury on another’s property or severe harm from a defective or dangerous product, you likely will hear from the at-fault person’s insurance company soon after.
As you take care of the aftermath of the accident, this settlement offer adds extra confusion. The reality is, this initial settlement offer from the insurance company will only be a fraction of the full extent of the damages you suffered.
Figure the full cost of your injuries
When assessing the full cost of the accident, you need to think about several questions:
- Did my injuries cause me to miss work and lose wages?
- Am I still missing work and losing future wages?
- Will a family member need to take care of me and stop their own employment?
- Did my injuries affect my personal and family life?
- Will I need to seek disability benefits because of my lasting injuries?
These factors, along with expenses such as your initial emergency medical care and ongoing medical treatment, begin to show a better picture of how your serious injury truly impacted you.
How you should proceed
You should never accept a settlement without first consulting with an attorney. The insurance company contacts you right after the injury as a business strategy. The lowball settlement offer will not cover the extent of your financial burden.
The insurance company will hold you to any sort of agreement to the offer even if you have not signed a release or deposited the check, so do not accept it in any way, even verbally.