Why To Not Accept The Insurance Company’s Initial Settlement Offer?
In this article, you will learn:
- Why to be wary of a settlement offer initially
- How long you have after an accident to file a claim
- Strategies to document the situation as it unfolds
Regardless of how much money they’re offering you, if an insurance company is offering money right away upfront, that’s a sign of two things. Number one, they know their client was at fault, and number two, they don’t want to give you the time that the law allows for you to explore and understand the true nature and extent of what your injuries might be and the treatment you may need. In over twenty years, I have seen so many cases where people within the week after an accident, think they are not seriously injured, only to see those people realize as certain parts of their body recover, other parts continue to have symptoms such as pain that has not gone away with time and ultimately, they have an MRI or other testing and find out the full extent of their injuries. Our firm has had clients whose aching shoulder, continues and then they get an MRI and have a torn rotator cuff that requires surgery. We have seen clients who initially thing they only have a sore neck or low back nagging them but after time passes it never resolves, despite following their conservative medical treatment and then through an MRI or other objective testing find out they’ve got a herniated disc impinging on a nerve root and end up having to have a neck or back surgery. Our firm’s experience with these cases and explaining to our clients the need to give their bodies time to fully heal has saved many from settling their case with the insurance company to early and for too little.
Again, we have just seen way too many cases where clients have the impression that they’re going to recover reasonably quickly only to find that as the months unfold, these old nagging symptoms have not resolved. Then, when additional testing is ordered, they realize why they haven’t resolved. Sometimes further intervention, surgical or therapeutic, or pain management is needed. I caution people not to rush to settle their claim before they know its value. You will not recover the full value of your claim until you truly understand the extent of your injuries, and that takes time.
Why Keeping A Log Or Journal Of Events Following An Accident Can Be Beneficial!
While every client is different, some clients document everything and are good at it. However, some clients do not and don’t want to. The most critical information is they need to know when their doctor’s appointments are and follow the advice of their medical providers. They need to keep records of all doctor’s appointments and provide that information regularly to our office so we can update their medical records and follow their course of treatment. In addition, I think it’s essential for them to keep track of their symptoms and how long they’ve lasted. Over the years, when we are dealing with an injury case and trying to resolve it, several months and sometimes even longer, have passed since the accident itself happened and the initial injury. So, it’s more difficult for a client to remember precisely how they were feeling, exactly what symptoms they were having, such as headaches, body aches or when their symptoms resolved or for instance how long they’ve had, shooting pain from their neck down into their left arm. Thus, note keeping can be an extremely helpful tool in keeping track of this important information.
If you are good about keeping a calendar, notepad or writing this type of information down regularly, I think that’s helpful. It’s helpful to you as the injured party to remember what all you went through. If the case were to get into litigation, it would be beneficial to you to remember the symptoms you suffered when you have to explain this to the defense attorney or if you had to testify in court. My biggest goal when I represent people is to take as much of the pressure off them and allow them to focus on getting treatment and getting better. Over time, I have found that the less we require of our injured clients and the more our firm does on their behalf, the better. A lot of times, we will have schedule regular meetings, in person or over the phone, with our clients in an effort to help document what the last month or two has been like for them. Our firm believes it is best to take extra responsibility off them because they’ve just had this event unforeseen accident that they weren’t expecting to be dealing with in an already busy life. While we always appreciate injured clients that are good at documenting; we also strive to take the burden this may cause off them and allow them to focus on getting better.
How Long You Have To File A Personal Injury Claim After A Car Wreck With Injury In Arkansas?
Three years is the statute of limitations in Arkansas for an adult. There are some special rules for minors if their parents do not file a claim for them during their minority, then when they become an adult, they have up to their 21st birthday file a personal injury claim for an injury they received when they were a minor. But the great thing about Arkansas is we have a statute of limitations of three years, which allows our injured clients adequate time to pursue their medical treatment, document their injuries, and see the extent of the recovery. Maximum medical improvement is really kind of the standard that our firm looks at to determine if an injured client’s case is ready to be pursued for settlement purposes.
We need to know if our client has reached the best improvement they will have after the accident, and we always hope they will get back to where they were before the accident happened. But some of our clients do not, and some of them will have to deal with ongoing medical treatment for years and sometime for life. They may have to deal with pain or other symptoms well into the future, and some of our more severely injured clients will be dealing with life-altering medical issues daily. So, the key for me and our firm’s attorneys is looking at the medical evidence in their medical records. Then, if we need to speak to their doctor or specialist and get an opinion from them if needed to help conclude that this is as good as they are going to get, and it’s time to pursue the case for resolution. That’s what we are always looking for; at what point is our client’s case ready to be pursued for settlement and the three-year statute of limitations is helpful because time is on our side. Obviously, our firm has many cases in which we resolve very shortly after the accident, depending on the nature of our client’s injuries and/or the amount of insurance coverage available.
For more information on the Insurance Company’s Initial Settlement Offer, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (866) 253-2226 today.