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What to Consider Before Accepting a Personal Injury Settlement Offer

Think about these factors before accepting a settlement in your personal injury claim

Car accidents and other serious personal injuries can be life-changing, although certainly not in a good way. Your existence becomes one of medical assistance, loss of employment and possible financial catastrophe. One visit to the emergency room quickly spirals into weeks, months and sometimes years of much needed therapy appointments.

Many personal injury victims are tempted to take the first settlement they're offered. After all, the insurance company has offered to cut you a check when you need it most. However, this is most likely a low-ball insurance settlement offer which benefits the insurance company far more than you.

The reality is that most people who suffer a personal injury have absolutely no idea how high their bills may get or how long their injuries may last. While settling a claim early on seems to pay off bills, it does so only for the moment. Rarely does the insurance company take into consideration medical complications that can arise later on because these companies are only looking at their own bottom line and not the future welfare of the victim.

Consider these 3 facts before accepting a settlement offer.

#1: You have the right to reject an offer and still receive a fair settlement.

Insurance companies generally push personal injury victims into signing a release for settlement. They may tell you that your options are limited and your legal recourse has reached its limit. Unfortunately this scare tactic works a great deal of the time, especially on victims who are already traumatized by their recent experiences and the extent of their injuries.

An experienced lawyer will tell you that a first offer is not an end-all, but merely the first step in the process of legal negotiation. Insurance companies’ adjusters bank on quick settlements so they can move on rapidly through their expanding case load. What happens to the victim after they receive their check is of no consequence to them.

What insurance companies will never tell you is that you can reject a claim until that settlement more closely meets your needs. A personal injury attorney knows this very well, as no insurance company wants the expense of going to trial. Pressing the insurance company for a better deal may help you receive a far higher settlement.

#2: Personal injuries don't go away on their own and can last a lifetime.

Insurance companies instruct their representatives to make settlement offers based on the victim's current state of affairs. This includes their past medical statements and whatever physicians they are seeing at the moment. As for the future, this is left to chance.

The future is exactly what you need to be concerned about. Many times, injuries require ongoing and more extensive treatment as time goes by. This includes multiple surgeries, wound care and physical, occupational, speech and psychological therapies.

#3: Personal injury expenses can change your future financial status in a heartbeat.

After suffering a personal injury, you’re likely to be out of work for a lengthy period of time. If your injuries are critical, this may prevent you from ever returning to your job or your given vocation.

In addition to medical bills, this loss of income is bound to have an effect on every facet of your life. Mortgage and rent payments, utilities and household expenses still need to be paid in a timely manner. Transportation and home-based care is often prescribed for the victim. For families with young children, childcare needs will have to be addressed.

As bills pile up and medical issues arise, that early settlement offer might not meet your needs. Don't expect any further communication from that insurance company to assist you in your hour of need.

Whenever possible, work with an experienced legal team.

Speaking with an attorney who understands the issues affecting a personal injury victim is the only way to escape an insurance nightmare. Your attorney understands all too well the insurance settlement calculator that insurance companies use to mislead victims into settling for far less than their case is worth. With a legal team working for you, the insurance company understands that you're going to accept the highest possible settlement and not their first low-ball offer.

As a top-rated personal injury law firm in Tennessee, Gilreath & Associates works with clients throughout the Southeast United States. From our offices in Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville, we are experienced in a wide variety of legal matters. Our founding attorney Sid Gilreath has been leading the charge to protect personal injury victims for over 50 years.

Most importantly, we don't just advocate on behalf of our clients. We listen to them to better understand the legal and financial aspects of each individual case. With our legal services, the personal injury settlement offer you receive will be the best one. It will allow you to look ahead to the future without fear.

Contact us today for your free consultation.


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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilreath & Associates offer free and personal consultation to help you evaluate your legal options.
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