Getting involved in a car accident is never a good thing. Aside from the physical injuries that you can sustain, there are other aspects that you have to think about. You may not be able to go back to work and this can have substantial implications in your family. There is also the psychological stress that you share with loved ones. As such, it is not surprising why many victims of car accidents settle with an insurance company right after a car accident. This is ill-advised. Here are the reasons why you should never settle with the other party’s insurer after a car accident:
The First Settlement Offer is Very Low
Let’s get this straight. The insurance adjuster represents the best interest of his company – the insurer. It so happens that the insurer’s client is the other party that “caused” the accident where you sustained your injuries. To put it in very simple words – the insurer is not your friend. He is not going to meet you and empathize with you. He is there to put on a fake show of support and understanding for your injuries and the misery you’re going through.
Once he’s got your attention and your “sympathy”, he will drop the ball by offering you a sum of money to “compensate” for your troubles. Most folks will take the offer in an instant, believing that it is a sincere gesture from the insurer. What they fail to understand is that insurance adjusters are very cunning individuals. They will use your emotional instability to win one for their client. After all, no insurance company will want to pay more than what its “playbook” dictates. As such, the first settlement offer will be very low.
Settlement Offers Based on Initial Evidence
One of the things that make the initial settlement offer so low is that insurers will only base their estimates on whatever evidence they have on hand. This is related to the establishment of who’s at fault for the accident. The evidence may only be the picture of the traffic collision or the anecdotal reports of people in the accident area.
What you have to realize is that a more thorough investigation requires several days up to a few weeks to complete. Police investigators may supply the report as to who’s at fault in the accident a few days after the fact. If you meet the insurer before the final investigation gets concluded, then it becomes almost impossible to gain a better understanding of who’s at fault.
Settlement Offers Based on Current Injuries
The amount of settlement that an insurer offers often reflects the cost of medical and hospital bills that you incurred related to the treatment of the injuries. But, we all know that there are certain injuries that only begin to show several days to a few weeks after the accident. There are also those that can take months to develop. You also have emotional pain and suffering to contend with, as well as losses in your income potential.
If you settle at once right after a car accident, you will not be able to get full compensation for all of your injuries. You may need surgery several months from the time of the accident. Or, you may undergo rehabilitation therapy. Unfortunately, because you already settled with the insurance company, you no longer can expect them to cover these expenses.
Settling with an insurance company after a car accident is never a good idea. This is regardless of how “tempting” their offer can be. Your best course of action is to get a car accident attorney to represent you in any activity involving accident insurance companies.