When Should Car Crash Victims Respond to a Car Accident Settlement Offer In Louisiana?

A man in a suit giving someone a check.Car crash victims may feel pressure to quickly decide to accept or reject the insurance company’s settlement offer. However, you should never rush a decision about a settlement offer.

Below, Galloway Jefcoat discusses how much time there is to accept or reject a settlement. We also discuss what should factor into your decision.

If you were injured in a car crash, you may have questions about how you can recover a settlement. Our experienced Lafayette-based auto accident lawyers are available to discuss legal options after a crash that was not your fault.

Our attorneys have secured compensation for those injured in Louisiana auto accidents for decades. Our services have no upfront costs, and our clients do not pay unless they receive compensation.

Galloway Jefcoat. Turning Wrong Into Right. Call: 337-984-8020.

Is There a Deadline For Accepting a Settlement?

Sometimes insurance companies give crash victims a deadline to accept a settlement offer. Insurers also like to mislead victims into thinking the first settlement offer is the only one they are going to get. Their goal is to rush you into accepting the initial offer, even though these offers are usually far below the full value of your damages.

If the insurance company has given you a deadline for accepting their offer, or the deadline has already passed and you rejected the settlement, you should discuss the situation with an experienced lawyer. An attorney may be able to negotiate with the insurance company for a better offer.

The bottom line is that you are not obligated to accept the first offer. You have options, particularly when you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you.

Insurance companies often tell crash victims that hiring a lawyer is going to make the process more complicated. They also like to tell victims that lawyers are going to take a significant portion of the settlement to cover their costs.

These are scare tactics used by insurance companies to protect their interests. Research has shown that victims who hire lawyers recover significantly more compensation, even after attorney fees.

What Should I Know Before I Accept an Insurance Offer?

Crash victims should not accept an offer unless it covers all the damages they suffered, including:

  • Past and future medical care
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • And more

There are many questions that need to be answered before determining the scope of the damages you suffered:

  • How long are your injuries going to affect you?
  • Will you be able to work?
  • Are you going to need ongoing medical care? For how long?
  • Do you need help with daily activities?
  • What are the emotional/psychological effects of your injuries?

You are not going to know the full value of your claim until you reach maximum medical improvement and doctors can determine the long-term effects of your injuries. It can take several months for many injured victims to reach this point.

It is incredibly difficult for injured victims to determine the value of their damages on their own. You cannot rely on online settlement calculators or estimates from insurance companies. It is better to hire an experienced attorney with a track record of success.

What Happens If I Reject an Offer?

Insurance companies want you to believe you will not get any money if you reject the first offer. The truth is your attorney can still negotiate a counteroffer. Your lawyer also has the option of filing a lawsuit if the insurance company does not offer enough compensation.

There is nothing abnormal about rejecting the first offer. This is what usually happens, particularly when you hire a lawyer with a history of securing favorable results. Insurance companies are trying to underpay your claim to save themselves money.

Despite what insurance companies want you to think, you have the right to reject an offer and negotiate for more compensation. Insurance companies like to downplay injuries, but your lawyer can present evidence to dispute these weak arguments.

Can I Reopen a Case After Accepting a Settlement?

Unfortunately, you cannot reopen a case once you accept an offer in writing from the insurance company. The only exceptions to this are if you can prove that the insurance company negotiated in bad faith or engaged in fraud. For example, if your lawyer can prove the insurance company misrepresented the terms of the insurance policy.

However, these are rare exceptions. Once you sign a settlement offer, it is highly unlikely you will be able to pursue more compensation from the insurance company for the accident. That is why it is so important to make sure the settlement covers all your expenses.

Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced lawyers have helped many Louisiana crash victims secure favorable compensation. We have taken on many insurance companies, building strong cases for our clients and pursuing full compensation in negotiations and in the courtroom.

There is no need to go through the legal process alone. The attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat can manage the process on your behalf, fighting for your best interests each step of the way.

Call Galloway Jefcoat To Help You With Your Insurance Settlement

We understand that compensation cannot erase the physical, financial and emotional trauma from a car crash. However, compensation can help victims with their recovery.

Our attorneys are here to answer your legal questions and guide you throughout the process.

Galloway Jefcoat. Turning Wrong Into Right. Call us at 337-984-8020.