Negotiations might not be over after you verbally accept a settlement offer. The problem is the insurance company may try to hold you to the offer you accepted, or at least lead you to believe you cannot get more compensation. That is why you need an attorney’s help to pursue more compensation.
Our experienced attorneys discuss what happens after an injured victim verbally accepts a settlement offer. We also discuss the risks of talking to the insurance company after a personal injury. You could say things that may damage your credibility. Perhaps you are tempted to accept the first offer of compensation, which is often far below the full value of your damages.
Galloway Jefcoat has been taking on insurance companies for decades. Our Lafayette-based personal injury lawyers are aggressive negotiators who are committed to securing full compensation for damages. We are also ready to take cases to court if the insurance company is not offering enough to settle the claim.
Free consultation. Call today to discuss legal options: (337) 984-8020.
Can a Verbal Agreement be Legally Binding?
There is probably no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Each situation needs to be analyzed on its own. Generally, it is probably going to be difficult to enforce a verbal agreement.
However, insurance companies often record phone conversations with injury victims. If the insurance company has a recording of you saying you agree to the settlement they are offering, it may be harder to rescind your acceptance. Even if they did not record the conversation, they may have written down that you said you accepted the offer. They may have also documented the rest of the phone call. If you accepted the offer by replying to an email or text message, that may be difficult to rescind.
However, if you did not sign anything, you may still have options. That is why you should contact an experienced lawyer to discuss the situation. An experienced lawyer can explain your options and whether you may still be able to negotiate for more compensation. He or she may be able to write a letter formally rescinding your acceptance of the offer and begin negotiating for more compensation.
Problems With the First Offer of Compensation
The insurance company may offer compensation the first time they contact you after the accident. They do this because they want to try to settle for as little as possible. There is no way they can know the full extent of your damages so early in the process. That means whatever amount they offer is likely to be far below the full value of your claim.
Insurance companies profit by underpaying as many claims as they can. Insurers invest premium payments from policyholders and the longer they can hold onto the money, the more interest they can earn on their investments.
It is important to realize you do not need to decide to accept or reject a settlement offer right away. The insurance company might make you think they are not going to offer more compensation. However, if you hire a lawyer, he or she can get the insurance company to make another offer after rejecting the first offer.
You can discuss settlement offers with a lawyer. At Galloway Jefcoat, our goal is the same as yours: securing full compensation for your damages. We can tell you if a settlement offer may provide sufficient compensation. If it does not, we are prepared to negotiate with the insurance company for the compensation you need.
If you receive a call from the insurance company, you do not have to get into a long conversation. You can refer the insurance company to your attorney. You do not even need to give a yes or no answer about a settlement offer. You can tell them you are going to take your time to consider it.
There are ways to rescind the acceptance of a settlement offer. However, it is generally a good idea to not accept an offer until you speak with an experienced attorney.
How Does Signing a Settlement Offer Differ From Verbally Accepting One?
It is important to understand there is a significant difference between signing a settlement offer and verbally accepting one. If you verbally accept an offer, you may be able to rescind it. If you sign a settlement offer, there is rarely any way to rescind it. You would need to prove you were coerced or the insurance company committed fraud, which would be very difficult.
Once you sign the settlement offer, you are also signing away your right to pursue further legal action over your injury. You give up that right in exchange for compensation. The insurance company pays compensation to avoid further liability.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat After a Personal Injury
Are you unsure about what to do after a personal injury? Has the insurance company offered compensation?
Call Galloway Jefcoat to schedule a free initial legal consultation. There are many benefits to working with an experienced lawyer. Insurance companies know this, which is why they try to convince injured victims to go it alone.
There are no upfront fees for our services and no fees while working on your case.
Galloway Jefcoat. Local. Experienced. Lawyers. Call (337) 984-8020.