Why you don’t want a quick settlement after your California car accident
Can you get a quick settlement after being injured in an accident? Yes. But you don’t want to. You see, insurance companies love it when you rush to settle your claim. Insurance adjusters are sharks. They can sense urgency, and the unwillingness to see a case all the way through.
So they prey on injured victims all of the time. As soon as you are in an accident they descend on you like vultures. They’ll call you and ask to take a recorded statement. They’ll ask about your injuries even though a lot of injuries take hours or days to really feel. They’ll ask if you’ve seen a doctor. They’ll ask if you are willing to settle right then and there, they’ll pay your medical bills and give you a little extra for your trouble.
This is all designed to get you to settle your case early, because they know the quicker they can do that, the less they will have to pay out.
Settling too early is risky because you don’t know the full extent of your injuries yet. I’ve had clients who thought they only needed chiropractic adjustments to their spine after an accident. Yet after 3 months their symptoms did not go away and it turns out they needed much more significant medical treatment, including surgery in some cases.
There are 3 basic steps to settling a California car accident claim:
- Contact the insurance company
- Complete your medical treatment
- Send the records to the insurance company and make a demand
The problem with settling too quickly is with step #2 above. You should wait until your medical treatment is done before settling the case. You never know if your medical condition will resolve until it’s resolve. I’ve had some clients who thought they only needed some physical therapy after an accident. But their pain never went away and they had to receive more aggressive treatment.
Also, the threat of a lawsuit may increase the amount the insurance company will offer you. If you have a lawyer, they know you will likely sue if you don’t receive a good offer. An experienced car accident attorney will know what’s a good offer and when to file a lawsuit if necessary.
Settling car accidents takes time
Also, offers tend to increase with time. The further along you are towards an actual trial, usually the higher the offers.
But even with an attorney involved, the insurance company will still try to play games with the process. Imagine if it was just you against them. They do this everyday and are really good at it.
Quick settlements are usually not a good idea. If there are reasons for settling fast, that is okay. But if not, patience will really pay off in accident cases.