If you’ve been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, you have a right to reasonable compensation for your damages and loss. Unfortunately, insurance companies go out of their way to limit their spending on personal injury claims. They hire savvy and aggressive claims adjusters who often make accident victims feel rushed into settling. If you don’t have a personal injury attorney handling your case, now is the time to get one. It’s also an excellent time to learn precisely how to respond to a low-ball offer.
Know Your Rights
The most important part of responding to low settlement offers for personal injury claims is knowing your rights. You’re entitled to receive as much medical care as you need. Claims adjusters shouldn’t make you feel rushed to settle. After all, if your doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist needs to extend your treatment, your medical bills and other injury-related expenses can always rise. You cannot feasibly settle a claim without knowing the full extent of your losses. These can include missed time at work, the cost of your medical supplies, and much, much more.
Tell insurance adjusters that you’re still in treatment and still healing. If they want detailed information about your condition, treatment plan, or treatment goals, refer them back to your attorney. At Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers, these are conversations that we regularly handle on behalf of our clients. This ensures that accident victims are never inadvertently making statements that jeopardize their settlement outcomes. It also allows our clients to sidestep these stressful communications and spend more of their time and energy focusing on getting well.
Ask for a Second Medical Opinion
Going to the emergency room is essential whether you’ve been involved in a car accident, a slip and fall accident, or have sustained a dog bite injury. This gives medical professionals the chance to document your injuries accurately. It creates a clear record of how you were harmed, the extent of your harm, and the time at which your injuries were sustained. However, you should never negotiate a settlement with a claims adjuster based solely upon the findings of an emergency room doctor. ER doctors are primarily focused on ensuring that their patients are in a stable condition and that they lack severe trauma-related injuries.
Although you might not have deep lacerations or broken bones, you could have a number of musculoskeletal injuries resulting from the stress and tension of your accident or due to a forceful, jarring impact. Tell your claims adjuster that you’ll be consulting with a chiropractor. A chiropractor will use a greater range of diagnostic tools to find out whether your accident has resulted in spinal alignment issues, muscle strain, joint dysfunction, and more.
Recognize the Potential for Latent Pain
There’s good reason for seeking a second medical opinion when responding to a low settlement offer for a personal injury claim: latent pain. Latent pain or pain that takes several days to rear its head is common after injury events. Many people walk away from car accidents seemingly unscathed, only to discover shortly thereafter that their lower backs are stiff, their necks won’t rotate properly, or their shoulders are too sore to lift their arms.
Some issues take time to manifest, particularly those affecting the musculoskeletal system. Claims adjusters are well aware of the potential for latent pain, and yet they ask accident victims to settle early anyway. This is why we regularly recommend that our clients refer these conversations back to us.
Never Make Hasty Decisions
The recovery process for even a mild to moderate personal injury can be unnerving. It’s scary to rack up medical bills when you’re already missing time at work. However, one of the most important things to know about accepting a low settlement offer is that you can never return for more money once an agreement is struck. Taking a small amount of cash to help you with your accident-related financial problems now could leave you with a number of unpaid expenses that must be paid out-of-pocket.
When you work with Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers, many chiropractors and other medical professionals will provide your care on a contingency basis. With these arrangements, your medical bills will be accounted for in your settlement, and your medical providers will be paid when you are. Get in touch with us today to sidestep the pressure and drama of dealing with claims adjusters directly. When you work with us, we’ll negotiate your settlement on your behalf. More importantly, we’ll get you the settlement amount you truly deserve.