Before You Sign the Insurance Company Waiver, Call a PI Attorney
While car accidents can be incredibly complex, they’re often fairly clear-cut. Maybe a driver admits he changed lanes without looking, or several witnesses give statements that they saw the at-fault driver plow through a red light. In these cases, the ones where you’re not at fault and it’s obvious, the other driver’s insurance company often comes calling early with a settlement offer.
On the face of things, this might not seem so bad. After all, you likely have medical bills beginning to pile up, plus car repairs and lost time at work. A quick check can feel like an easy way out—a chance to avoid the potential expense of delays or the unknowns of a lawsuit.
There’s a catch, however. When you accept the insurance company’s settlement, you’ll also have to sign a liability waiver or release of all claims form. Essentially, you release the insurance company and their client from any further liability. They’re off the hook—even if your lingering back pain turns out to require disc surgery or your slightly dented car door actually totals your vehicle.
Why accepting the first settlement isn’t always the best plan
Of course after an accident, you’re eager to move on with your life. Reaching out to a personal injury attorney can seem like a big step—one that, on the face of things, might seem to take up more time and money when you really can’t spare either. But consultations are free, and that quick call to Hudson King could save you down the road if your expenses turn out to be higher than expected.
Even if you think your settlement offer is fair, a personal injury lawyer can confirm it to guarantee you’re getting the compensation you deserve. Many PI firms, including ours, also work on a contingency fee pay structure. That means you’re never signing up for legal bills without compensation first.
An insurance company settlement needs to cover all of your expenses, plus some extra cushion. A personal injury attorney draws on the specifics of your case to estimate whether the initial offer does that. Before you settle:
- Is ALL of your medical care being covered? Has your doctor determined that you’ve mostly wrapped up treatment (or reached “maximum medical improvement”), or are you facing surgeries, physical therapy, and other long-term, expensive procedures?
- Does the insurance company offer cover your lost time at work or childcare expenses?
- Are you being fairly compensated for your pain, past and future suffering, and inconvenience as a result of the wreck?
It takes a little time to realize the full scope of an accident’s consequences. But by carefully looking at your case, consulting with your doctor and your own insurer, a personal injury attorney can determine if the insurance company’s offer is fair.
Typically, settlements leave room for negotiation, and by signing the first offer, you might be leaving money on the table. More importantly, though, you’re passing up on your right to receive the full compensation you deserve.
Georgia car accident attorneys
If you’re hurt and it wasn’t your fault, the personal injury attorneys at Hudson King are here to help. We have insurance company experience, and we know when a settlement just isn’t fair. Contact us today at 229-396-5845 for a free consultation.
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Contact us today for a free consultation. Our contingency fee pay structure means you won’t pay fees until you receive the compensation you deserve.