In circumstances where there is no real dispute as to who was at fault, the damages are small, and your physical recovery complete, you may be able to settle your own claim quickly.
Please consider that most insurance corporations will only issue one settlement check for an injury claim. After that one settlement check, the insurance company will not pay any additional money for that particular injury claim in the future–even if your injury gets worse and you need future medical treatment. If any of the following situations apply to you, you usually should avoid a quick settlement:
- You are still receiving medical care for accident-related injuries
- You will likely require additional medical care in the future for your accident-related injuries
- You have not yet been able to return to work or resume normal activities
The insurance adjuster’s goal is to persuade you to settle now, before you hire a lawyer, and try to talk you into a settlement which may not compensate you fairly for all the losses you have experienced. Insurance companies cannot make the swelling profits they need if they are paying fair compensation to every injury victim.
Insurance companies know that if your injury claim is in the hands of a capable personal injury lawyer who is skilled in insurance issues and trial tactics, they don’t have much of a chance achieving a “low-ball” settlement on your injury claim.
By swiftly convincing unrepresented injury victims that the money they are offering now will result in a greater amount than they would get to keep if they had hired a lawyer, many injury victims will accept less than they deserve – a lot less.
The free initial consultation a personal injury lawyer is willing to provide can be a great resource for you in determining if a quick settlement is the best course for you to take.
You Have the Right to Forfeit Your Claim
Are you willing to forfeit your legal rights and allow the responsible parties and the insurance companies to keep the compensation you deserve?
You have the opportunity to choose to accept your injuries and forfeit your legal rights to compensation — or not — you are within your legal rights to do so. Before you give more thought to that possibility, I would like to explain to you how your decision to essentially “drop the claim” will mean that others will more likely be injured by the same harms, because you would not hold the wrongdoers accountable for their conduct.
What Could Happen if I Settle Now?
Your forfeiture of your legal rights will mean that you will be solely responsible for paying all of your medical bills, including all those bills that may be incurred in the future. And, may I add, you will not receive any compensation for your lost wages or pain and suffering you have already endured and will continue to endure into the future.
Because this decision is so important, I want to stress how easy it is for you to relinquish your rights to future compensation for your injuries. You may intentionally forego just compensation — that is, you consciously decide you don’t want any compensation from the responsible parties and insurance company. Or, you can inadvertently forgo just compensation simply by delaying too long to pursue your injury claim. Few people intend to just drop their case. Many people with valid claims just procrastinate too long to do anything about it. In either event, the responsible parties and their insurance companies will be relieved from their obligation to compensate you for your injuries.
The insurance company has lawyers to represent their best interests. Shouldn’t you?
Jeff Robinette is a personal injury attorney located in Morgantown, WV. For more information concerning car accident claims in West Virginia, visit the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC at http://www.robinettelaw.com or our blog at www.wvaccidentlawyer.org