Jason Stephens | August 7, 2022 | Personal Injury
If you were involved in a car accident or other personal injury accident, you might be anxious to settle your claim to cover your medical bills and lost wages. However, there are times when your personal injury lawyer may recommend not accepting the current settlement offer from the insurance company. Here is what you need to know about this important issue.
Do I Have to Accept an Insurance Adjuster’s Offer?
It is up to you to decide whether you want to accept an insurance adjuster’s offer. There are pros and cons to this approach.
The biggest pro is that by rejecting the initial offer, you can show that you are serious about your case and unwilling to settle for an unacceptable figure. The biggest con is that your case will not be resolved, so you may be without the funds you need to cover your losses.
Before rejecting the insurance adjuster’s offer, you should be aware of times when it may or may not be a good time to accept the offer.
When to Accept a Settlement Offer
A personal injury lawyer may advise their client to accept a settlement offer when:
The Victim Has Reached Maximum Medical Improvement
Maximum medical improvement is the point where the victim has recovered physically from their injury as much as they are expected to recover. They may still be receiving medical care, but their condition is not expected to improve further.
Personal injury lawyers recommend waiting for accident victims to reach maximum medical improvement before settling their case. That way, they are aware of and can negotiate for the full extent of their damages.
The Offer Fairly Compensates You for Your Losses
Your personal injury attorney can analyze how the accident has affected you and identify all of the damages you suffered, such as:
- Costs to repair or replace your personal property
- Medical expenses, including past and future expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Your lawyer can help quantify the losses you have suffered and demand compensation for their full value.
What Happens If I Reject a Settlement Offer?
If you reject a settlement offer, your claim will still continue. You can take several options, such as:
Make a Settlement Counter-Offer
You can respond to the insurance company’s offer by making a counter-offer of your own that you believe fairly compensates you for your injuries.
There is nothing stopping you from continuing to negotiate your claim. However, Rule 408 of the Texas Rules of Evidence says that settlement negotiations are confidential. This means that you cannot use the fact that the defendant has tried to settle the claim as evidence that they are admitting their wrongdoing.
Request a New Insurance Adjuster
If you feel that your negotiations are not going anywhere or the adjuster is being unreasonable, you can request a new insurance adjuster. Some insurance adjusters may try to play hardball and intimidate accident victims into accepting lowball settlement offers. Changing the person assigned to the claim may help propel it toward settlement.
Take the Case to Court
You may ultimately decide to take the case to court if the insurance adjuster does not make a fair offer.
How to Refuse an Insurance Settlement Offer
If you choose to refuse an insurance adjuster’s offer, you will likely need to reject the offer in writing. The letter can state why you are rejecting the offer and make a counter-offer for more compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can prepare this letter for you.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107