Should You Take a First Offer on an Auto Accident Settlement?

The moments following a catastrophic car accident are a whirlwind of confusion, fear, and urgency. The immediate focus is always on getting medical attention, either for yourself or your loved ones. Even in the aftermath, the confusion of insurance, settlements, and compensation creates a cloud of uncertainty. Many victims of catastrophic car accident injuries simply want the ordeal to end, and they’ll take the first bit of compensation that’s offered to them.

This is a mistake you should avoid. While dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating, and the potential for a legal battle can leave you feeling uncertain, accepting a first offer of compensation from an insurance company can leave you financially struggling for the rest of your life. You deserve more, and it’s in your best interest to contact a car accident lawyer before accepting any offer from an insurance company.

Why Insurance Companies Are So Quick to Make a Settlement Offer 

Insurance companies provide vital protection for drivers and vehicle owners, but they are also businesses focused on minimizing losses and maximizing profits. 

When a driver they cover is involved in a catastrophic auto accident, it’s in the best interest of the insurance company to resolve the issue quickly and with as little money paid out as possible. To achieve this, they are often quick to present a settlement offer to accident victims. These early offers serve a dual purpose: they aim to mitigate the insurer’s financial exposure by settling claims quickly and, often, for less than the full value. They also seek to capitalize on the victim’s immediate need for financial assistance and their unwillingness to drag out the process. 

Many victims of car accidents face mounting medical bills, the potential for lost income, the stress of recovery, and so much more. This leaves them feeling like a swift resolution offered by an insurance company might be the best option for them. However, it’s not always the best option for you and your family.

Why You Shouldn’t Accept the First Offer from an Insurance Company 

While the temptation to accept a quick settlement can be appealing, there are several compelling reasons to resist and contact a car accident attorney:

  • The offer could undervalue your claim: Initial offers rarely reflect what you’re really owed in compensation. They often overlook long-term expenses, such as ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, the potential for lost earnings, and much more. 
  • You could have further injuries: Not all injuries are immediately apparent. Some can take weeks to manifest. These hidden injuries can include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), whiplash and many others. Accepting an offer before you understand the long-term implications of your injuries and medical conditions could leave you without sufficient compensation to cover future bills. 
  • The pressure is on: Insurance companies may use pressure tactics that force you to make a quick decision when you’re not ready. They may portray the initial offer as a “now or never” deal. This urgency is never in your best interest, and it may be more valuable to assess your case even further. You may find that there are a lot of things you can be compensated for outside of your initial medical expenses. 

What You Can Be Compensated for After a Car Accident 

Compensation after a car accident isn’t limited to physical injuries that result in a visit to the hospital. You may also be entitled to a comprehensive settlement or verdict that includes many types of damages. These can include:

  • Medical bills for emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, medication, and future medical care. 
  • Lost wages for the time you were unable to work due to your injuries and the potential loss of future earning capacity. 
  • Pain and suffering for the emotional distress you (or your family) have endured. 
  • Reimbursement for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident. 

Get a Better Verdict or Settlement with the Right Car Accident Lawyer

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident is challenging, especially when dealing with big-name insurance companies. At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, our car accident attorneys have extensive experience representing clients who are going up against some of the largest organizations in the world. Our attorneys can help you get the best compensation for you and your family based on the damages you have sustained. We can help you by providing:

  • Legal expertise: Our attorneys specialize in auto accident cases and have a wealth of knowledge regarding New Jersey law, insurance practices, and the strategies for negotiating fair settlements. 
  • Accurate assessments: We’ll help you understand the full value of your injuries, ensuring all current and future costs are considered in your lawsuit. 
  • Negotiation experience: We can help you get a fair settlement and are never afraid to go to court. We have secured over a  billion for our clients. 
  • Reduced stress: You need to focus on your recovery. We have your best interests in mind and will handle everything about your case. 

If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, don’t take the first settlement that comes your way. Contact the legal experts at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow for a free case consultation today. We can help you navigate the process and get the compensation you deserve.