Should I Accept the Insurance Company's Settlement Offer?

Insurance adjusters often make settlement offers early in the claim process. They know accident victims are desperate for financial compensation and don't know the actual value of their personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters sometimes will make a property damage or pain and suffering offer and then add a "few hundreds of dollars for the rest of the damages.”

Crash victims don't understand that property damage claims are separate from personal injury claims and aren't bound legally as a mandatory “take it or leave it” settlement offer.

It's crucial to note that a verbal agreement isn't legally binding. This means that if you accept the insurance company's settlement offer over a phone call but have yet to sign any paperwork, you can negotiate your compensation.

You should discuss the matter with an experienced personal injury attorney before signing anything. The settlement offer might not provide the monetary compensation you need, and an experienced attorney can help you negotiate for a fair settlement.

Call our personal injury lawyers in Denver today at 720-770-5454 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

Should I Accept the First Settlement Offer?

No, you shouldn't. Don't accept the insurance provider’s first settlement offer. That's because the amount of compensation you're awarded in your settlement is essential—not just for covering your current medical expenses, but it plays a significant role in helping you get back on your feet. Your financial damages may include missed wages, medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other additional damages incurred following an accident. And sometimes, accident victims may experience pain from physical injuries years after they occurred.

Thus, it’s crucial that you take the settlement offer seriously and consider all details before making a final decision. Consult with an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer to make an informed decision.

When recovering from a motor vehicle crash, you're probably feeling a financial pinch. The cost of repairs and medical bills are racking up, which may stress you out. The insurance company knows that you need finances and thus, the insurance agent is ready to make a quick and often low-ball settlement offer.

Accept the Insurance Company's Settlement

Don't accept any settlement offer from the insurance provider. And don't take any settlement offer until you consult with an experienced attorney. Insurance companies want to give the lowest amount they can because they want to make a profit. Thus, they often offer a low-ball settlement. 

The insurance provider may also send you a check. Don't cash the check because doing so eliminates your ability to seek any additional damages. Inform the insurance provider that you don't accept the settlement offer. However, remember that the Colorado statute of limitations limits the time to file a civil case. You must file an injury claim within two years of your injury.

What Happens When I Reject an Insurance Settlement Offer?

Your claim stays open, and you can keep fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve. However, there are crucial facts you must know before you reject a settlement offer following an auto accident in Colorado. For example:

  • After you reject an offer, the settlement offer is off of the table. You only have one chance to accept or reject an insurance offer. If you reject the insurance settlement offer, you can't change your mind later.
  • If the insurer thinks the settlement offer is fair, it may not offer another one. While insurance providers often offer “low” settlement offers, if your insurance provider makes a settlement offer that's fair, it may not keep negotiating if you reject the offer.
  • If you don’t receive another offer, your only legal option is to take your accident claim to court. Since there's no way to force insurers to negotiate, if you reject an insurance offer and you don’t receive another offer, you must present your case at trial.

As you can see, while rejecting an insurance settlement offer doesn't have a direct effect on the status of your insurance claim, it can have repercussions that may make it challenging to recover your financial losses. However, this doesn't mean you should accept a low settlement offer. Be very careful and make sure that you don't settle for less than you're entitled to.

Related: What to Expect From Personal Injury Mediation

When Should I Accept a Settlement Offer?

Foremost, never accept a settlement offer until all your injuries are healed. If you have severe bodily injuries, you may need recurring medical treatment, rehabilitation, and future surgeries, which might be considered in the offer. The best personal injury attorneys use life care planners to estimate the value of your future medical costs. These expenses can be huge, and you may be responsible for the medical bills if you settle for less than what your medical treatment will cost. The most common mistake people make is taking initial settlement offers too quickly.

Insurers use minimum standards to determine how much to pay an accident victim. Your personal injuries might not be typical, and they could be serious than the standards suggest. You may get maximum compensation for the bodily injuries caused by the accident. Further, you may also be eligible for other damages such as compensation for pain and suffering and lost wages.

Should I Accept the Insurance Company's Settlement Offer?

When a physical injury is disabling, you may also be eligible for compensation for loss of enjoyment of life or other similar financial damages. An experienced Denver accident attorney can protect your legal rights and work to get you the fair compensation you deserve after an accident. At DCAL, our legal team has decades of experience and has resolved hundreds of personal injury cases successfully and our clients get the maximum compensation they deserve after an accident.

How Should I Respond to a Low Settlement Offer?

Dealing with an insurance provider is one of the most challenging aspects of an accident claim. Even if you prove another person is liable for your accident and physical injuries, you may then have to contend with a low settlement offer and other bad faith tactics from an insurance adjuster to make sure that you get a fair outcome. 

Be professional and polite when negotiating with an insurance agent, even if you believe they're using bad faith tactics or trying to take advantage of you. Hire a skilled Denver personal injury lawyer to speak to insurance adjusters on your behalf if desired.

Document all the details. Documenting your medical expenses, injuries, lost wages, and other financial damages can support the value of your personal injury claim. You must have paperwork backing up the value you believe is reasonable to cover your financial damages, making it daunting for the insurance company to deny your claim or offer you a low settlement offer. 

When offered a low settlement offer, respond in writing instead of over the phone. Written communication between you and the insurance claims adjuster document all correspondence. Also, you might need to use this evidence later if your case goes to court. Explain where and why you disagree with the insurance claims adjuster’s evaluation. Include a counteroffer of an amount you believe your accident claim is worth, all in writing.

Related: What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

One of the most effective strategies to maximize your insurance settlement offer is to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible following the accident. Your accident attorney can guide you through discussions with the insurance provider, all while helping you avoid making common mistakes that may hurt your personal injury claim. A skilled lawyer can also estimate the value of your damages and evaluate any initial settlement offers you receive so you don't accept a low-ball settlement offer.

Your personal injury lawyer will also have the negotiation skills needed to advocate for your best interests during every stage of your insurance claim, progressing your lawsuit into the courtroom if necessary. To protect your legal right to fair compensation, contact our seasoned Denver personal injury law firm today at 720-770-5454 for a free initial consultation.

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