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Should I Accept a Settlement Offer From Insurance? 

March 14, 2024Personal Injury

If you get injured in an accident in Colorado and file an insurance claim to seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses, you may jump at the first opportunity to accept a settlement and finish your claim. Accepting a settlement offer without a proper evaluation of your case and circumstances, however, could be detrimental to your financial future.

You Can Still Recover Compensation After Rejecting a Settlement Offer 

First-time claimants are often nervous about rejecting a settlement offer. They may think that the offer is “final” or a “one-time only” deal. Insurance companies may even use this type of language when communicating with a claimant to try to convince him or her to accept the first settlement offer. However, this is not the case.

You can still receive financial compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more after rejecting a settlement offer. The insurance company will either counter with a higher offer or maintain the original one. The first offer will still stand for the duration of your case. 

Why You Should Not Accept the First Offer 

While it can be tempting to say yes to the first settlement offer sent to you by an insurance company, the best thing you can do is wait. The offer may be low for the type and extent of your injuries. Take the time to fully understand your situation before accepting a settlement or signing a release of liability waiver. There are many reasons why you should say no to the first offer.

The Insurance Company Will Want to Minimize Your Payout

The insurer and the claims adjuster assigned to your case will not want to protect your best interests. They will do their best to minimize your settlement to maximize their own profits. A common tactic used is to offer lowball settlements in the hopes that a claimant will accept without negotiating.

You Have Time to Negotiate

Insurance companies intentionally use time-sensitive language to make claimants think they have to quickly accept the first offer and rush into a “limited-time-only” settlement. The truth is that you have time to learn more about your injuries, review the settlement offer and take it to a Denver personal injury lawyer for legal advice before making a decision.

Settlements Are Binding

Once you accept a settlement and sign a release waiver, you generally cannot reopen your case. Settlement agreements are final except in rare circumstances where issues such as fraud invalidate the agreement. Even if you discover later that your claim is worth far more than you settled for, you cannot go back and renegotiate for a higher amount.

Injuries May Be More Serious Than They Initially Appear

In the first few weeks after your accident, you may not fully understand the extent of your injuries or how they will impact your life and future. Waiting until you reach your point of maximum medical improvement can help ensure that you receive a fair amount.

The Cost of Your Accident Is More Than Just Financial

Many accident victims make the mistake of calculating only their financial costs when evaluating losses. However, a personal injury case involves more than just an economic impact. It may also involve pain and suffering, emotional distress, psychological anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. Do not accept a settlement that does not take your noneconomic damages into account. 

When to Contact an Attorney

It is in your best interest to wait to accept an insurance settlement offer until you have brought it to a lawyer for an in-depth review. An attorney can evaluate your case and give you an honest opinion about its value. If you are going through the insurance claims process as an injured accident victim in Colorado, contact Dormer Harpring for a free case consultation.