If you suffer an injury in an accident, whether it is a car crash or a slip and fall, you might be offered an insurance settlement. While you have every right to accept the offer, you are not required to do so. In fact, in many cases, it is in your best interests not to. The Reiff Law Firm represents people in complex personal injury litigation and is dedicated to maximizing compensation awards. Below, our Philadelphia personal injury attorney discusses what happens when you do not accept an insurance settlement offer.
Do You Have to Accept an Insurance Settlement Offer After Filing a Claim in Pennsylvania?
You are never obligated to accept an offer from an insurance company, even if you file a claim after an accident or injury. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you might be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court. In such a case, a settlement offer is an alternative solution to trying your case before a judge or jury.
While a settlement offer might appear to be a good thing at first – it is typically a faster solution than a lawsuit and is money immediately in your pocket – the amount offered is rarely sufficient to cover all of your financial losses and emotional damages.
If you were involved in a slip and fall accident or a collision while driving, an insurance company might offer you a quick settlement to avoid a larger payment in the future. Once you accept an offer from an insurance company, you are usually prohibited from seeking further damages, no matter what happens to you medically or economically. By taking their offer, you agree not to file a lawsuit in the future. It is essential to speak with our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney before accepting or rejecting a settlement proposal from an insurance provider.
Retaining Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney When Negotiating with an Insurance Company
If you are injured because of the negligence of another, such as a car accident or a premises liability claim, you should have the representation of our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney. You can almost guarantee that the party responsible for your injury has a lawyer representing them. Additionally, every insurance company employs attorneys to represent their interests.
By having our law firm negotiate on your behalf, the insurance company will be exposed to some of the evidence and arguments our experienced litigators would present at trial. While an insurance company might offer a reasonable settlement because of the fear of losing at court, it will probably still be less than what is possible by taking your case to trial. Even if your settlement agreement is negotiated with the assistance of an attorney, you are not obligated to accept it. If you are not demonstrating a willingness to take your case to court, it is unlikely that you will get an insurance company’s best offer.
Getting Damages for Your Economic Losses and Emotional Stress in a Pennsylvania Lawsuit
As stated above, you do not have to accept any offer the insurance company makes. If the facts in your situation are solidly on your side, then taking the case to court might be your best option. In some instances, our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys will advise you to file a lawsuit in the Pennsylvania courts while still pursuing negotiations. While your lawsuit proceeds, the insurance company might make subsequent settlement offers. No matter when in the proceedings the offer is made, you still have the right to accept or deny it.
Your financial damages are usually well documented and supported with ample evidence. Whether it was a car accident or a fall in a grocery store, our law office will be able to accurately calculate your economic damages based on receipts, bills, and other documentation. If you have lost income, or if your future earning capacity is limited because of your injury, our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys will use pay stubs, tax returns, and financial experts to determine lost past and future income.
Pain and suffering could be a substantial portion of a jury’s award in a personal injury case. Usually, an insurance company will never offer fair compensation for the physical and mental anguish that you have and will endure. Depending on the severity of your injury and the evidence available to establish your pain and suffering, it might be unwise to accept an offer that does not appropriately provide for your emotional damages.
In the end, if your evidence is compelling and persuasive, you could be awarded economic and non-economic damages by the court and jury. If you recover for your financial losses and your emotional pain and suffering, you will probably have received significantly more than the original offer from the insurance company. However, going to trial is always a risk. Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys have years of litigation experience and will provide you with our seasoned advice on the strength of your case. In some situations, even though you might reject the initial settlement offer, a subsequent proposal after a lawsuit was filed, could be your best alternative.
Call Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney Before Accepting or Rejecting an Insurance Company Injury Settlement
If you are injured, you anticipate that a settlement offer from an insurance company will adequately cover your financial losses and emotional pain. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Insurance companies are not in the business of paying large settlements out of their generosity. Our Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can help you maximize your settlement offer or take your case to trial. To schedule a free consultation to review your settlement offer, call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940.