Your day probably started out like any other, but by the end of it, you were in a hospital still reeling from what just happened. Another vehicle came out of nowhere and slammed into yours. Now, you suffer from serious injuries, and it may take you a substantial amount of time to recover.
In the meantime, your medical bills are growing, and your income is shrinking. You have no working vehicle, and your life feels as if it is in complete chaos. Then, you receive a call from the insurance company, making you a settlement offer. This may be tempting, especially since you need the money, but you should know that is just what the insurance company is counting on.
Should you take that first offer?
More than likely, the answer to that question is that you probably should not accept the insurance company’s first offer. In most cases, it won’t even cover your medical bills, which you may not even know the extent of at this point. In fact, that is the first reason not to accept the offer — you don’t know what your medical costs will ultimately be, and depending on your injuries and prognosis, you could need medical care for some time. If you accept that first offer, you can’t go back and ask for more money.
Instead, you can review the offer and reject it in writing. You can include any information you currently have about your financial losses associated with the accident. You could also send information regarding your injuries and how much additional care you will need in the future. You can provide information regarding how your injuries affect your life, even if only temporarily. For instance, you may not be able to work, do things with your family that you used to do and more.
What happens next?
After rejecting the initial offer and perhaps including a counteroffer, you will most likely enter the negotiation phase with the insurance company. If you reach the point where you believe you are receiving a fair and equitable settlement, then you can accept it and move forward. However, if you aren’t getting anywhere with the insurance company, you may need to go to court to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Undertaking all of this alone would probably cause you a significant amount of stress and frustration, which may actually hinder your recovery. Instead, you could work with a West Virginia personal injury attorney with the compassion, competence and resources you need in order to increase the chances you will succeed in your endeavor. In addition, it could remove the stress you feel so that you can focus on your recovery, which should be your first priority.