So, you have been in a truck accident and you suffered some pretty serious injuries. Your claim has been filed with the insurance company for a while now, and you have been made an initial settlement offer. Should you accept that settlement offer or not? Do not fret, you are not the only truck accident victim who has struggled with this question, and you will not be the last.
Not So Fast
The truth is, even for lawyers, this question is quite difficult to answer. If the insurance company is offering you a settlement fairly soon after the truck accident occurred, then, most likely, you should turn the offer down. Typically, the first offer that you get from the insurance company will be the lowest offer that you will hear, and quite often, that offer will be lower than you deserve. Normally, the initial settlement is just a percentage of the valuation of your claim. How would insurance companies make money if they paid all claims at 100% valuation?
Waiving Your Rights
Here’s the deal. You need to understand that if you accept a settlement from the insurance company, you be required to sign paperwork before you receive a check from them. Your signature on that paperwork will waive any future rights that you may have to filing a personal injury lawsuit. That means that whatever amount of money you accept from the insurance company will have to make you happy the rest of your life. There is no turning back once you sign your name and cash that check.
The truth is, insurance settlements are rarely enough to cover the full extent of the injuries and damages that truck accident victims have suffered. Offering you a settlement is the insurance company’s “easy way out.” In fact, the insurance company is hoping is that you will be desperate enough to take its lowest offer. They are hoping that your bills are piling up and you are anxious to resolve them. They are hoping that some fast cash, albeit a small amount of money, will tempt you to sign your name on the dotted line and relieve them of any future financial burdens that come along with your injuries.
Many Will Settle
Despite the fact that it means that they will never be able to collect another dime again, many truck accident victims will settle to get their hands on some quick money. Sadly, they will then be stuck with their medical issues and bills and there will be some victims who will not be able to afford to continue their physical therapy or chiropractic appointments ten years down the line. The money will have been completely spent long ago, and their injuries will still be lingering.
If you have been the victim of an accident, consult with a Pennsylvania truck accident attorney before settling with an insurance company. Truck accident victims who have a good attorney on their side will typically get better offers because the insurance companies know that attorneys understand how to value claims. If you have suffered injuries in a Pennsylvania truck accident, contact us at Solnick & Associates, LLC. We provide free consultations, so you have nothing to lose.
(image courtesy of Didier Weemaels)