The simplest answer is: no. One of the first things we tell our clients is to not accept a quick injury claim settlement from the insurance company. We understand why you want to get your case out of the way, but we also know that insurance companies will try to cheat you. Take the time to meet with an attorney and build a case that will get you what you deserve.
The Cons of a Quick Injury Claim Settlement
- Sometimes, injuries aren’t noticeable until months after an accident. Your body’s healing mechanisms can mask the true effects of an injury. So, if you accept a settlement right after an accident, you may be neglecting your most serious injuries. Insurance companies know this, and offer quick settlements so that they don’t have to pay more later.
- We’ve seen insurance companies send employees to victims’ homes just days after their accident with checks in hand. Don’t fall for this trick. The money is tempting, but you will be able to get more with a fair settlement.
- Keep track of your injuries and document everything with the help of a doctor. Once all of your injuries are recorded and you are receiving treatment, you can feel confident filing a claim and accepting a settlement.
Here is a relevant story about a quick injury claim settlement which we included in our book, 7 Biggest Mistakes that can Wreck Your Utah Accident Case:
Image courtesy of Jpeterson101
I once represented a woman whom I’ll call Gretchen. Gretchen came to me a few weeks after a rear-end accident. Her neck was very sore, and she had been diagnosed with “whiplash” injuries by her chiropractor. The at-fault insurance company had stopped by her home a few days before and apologized for her injuries, offering her $500 to settle her claim. Gretchen didn’t feel comfortable taking the settlement while she was still in pain, so she came to me for advice.
I told Gretchen that it was in her best interest to wait and see how she healed. That way, she would know the full extent of her injuries and have a clearer view on how she should proceed. At the time, she didn’t see the whiplash injuries as a big deal, but thankfully, she heeded the advice.
A few months after that initial visit, Gretchen’s whiplash injuries had not resolved – in fact, they had gotten worse. Her chiropractor had referred her to a specialist, who found multiple disc herniation in her cervical spine. He recommended that she undergo an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) – a neck fusion, in laymen’s terms. Needless to say, it was a very expensive operation and dramatically affected her life, as well as the value of her insurance claim.
Fortunately, I was able to obtain a substantial settlement that covered all of Gretchen’s medical expenses and compensated her for the months of pain, difficulty sleeping, and limited activities with her family that she had to endure after the accident. But the only reason I was able to help her obtain this settlement was because she had waited patiently before pursuing settlement of her claim. That decision made all the difference in terms of her ability to obtain a fair settlement versus the $500 the insurance company had initially offered.
You deserve compensation for your injuries. Being patient allows you to build the strongest case and get the most for your injuries. Accepting a quick injury claim settlement may leave you without assistance in the future. Contact us today if you have any questions about dealing with insurance companies after an accident.