The insurance company for the car that hit me is already offering me money to settle my claim, should I just settle?
Written By: Michael Wade, October 14, 2020
We are seeing this scenario more frequently as insurance companies are being more creative in their varying approaches to settle claims for the least possible amount of money. In this scenario, the insurance company will call you shortly after the accident and before you have the chance to speak with an attorney.
The insurance company will “accept responsibility” for the accident and offer you settlement money (sometimes even including a small “fund” to go directly to medical providers if you seek treatment). Unfortunately, many people fall for this ploy and proceed to settle their claim (by signing a release or giving a verbal release over the phone) for less than full value.
Our office has spoken to many people who have “settled” their claims, who later realize their injuries are more significant than they realized at that time they settled. These people often desire to have us “overturn” the release so that they might get a fair and reasonable settlement.
Unfortunately, in most situations, the release is binding and cannot be overturned. In this tactic, the insurance company is deploying an advanced psychological strategy to get you to accept their offer, namely loss aversion. In most people’s minds, it is better to not lose $10 than to find $10.
Remember, the insurance company is deploying these tactics solely for the purpose of saving money. If the value of the car accident claim is objectively worth $20,000 and they can get a release for $2,000, they look at it as making or “saving” $18,000 on your car accident claim. The bottom line is you should consult with one of the partners in our personal injury firm and have your claim evaluated before ever speaking with the insurance company. At Wade & Nysather, we do not charge a fee for this evaluation and we will give you an honest and fair evaluation. Usually the reason the insurance company has offered money at all is because they know the claim is worth many times what they are offering.
We cannot speak for other lawyers and law firms, but we will not accept a case where we cannot put our clients’ in a better position. If the insurance company has offered a potential client $2,000, then we have to honestly believe that we can get that potential client more than that in their pocket, if we are going to take the case. Otherwise, if the client hires us and we take a third of the $2,000, the client would only receive around $1,335, and we will have made the client worse off. That is not fair.
The insurance company representing the person who injured you is doing whatever they can to prevent you from recovering for the damages and losses that you have suffered. Make no mistake about it – they are out to get you. If you or someone you know is ever in a situation like this, have them call us for a FREE CONSULTATION, before speaking with the insurance company. At Wade and Nysather, we will give them honest answers to their questions! Call us today at (602) 547-2222.