When you file a car crash claim after a Fort Lauderdale crash, the insurer may dispute your claim or raise various objections. At the same time, a common tactic used by insurance companies is to make a quick offer for settlement. This may appear very attractive but you must consult a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer before you accept the offer.
This is because it is typically a bad idea to settle immediately after an accident. Here are some reasons why.
The First Offer is Always Low
Insurance companies understand that you may have to face medical costs, lost wages, the costs of vehicle repairs, as well as other expenses in the wake of a Fort Lauderdale crash. This naturally puts you under a lot of financial stress. At a time when you desperately need money to cover your losses, the insurer may take advantage of you and offer you a quick but low settlement.
If you accept this offer, you are likely to get money quickly. However, this amount will be a lot lower than what you actually deserve for your damages. If an insurer is making you a quick and low offer, know that you have a good chance of securing a larger settlement if you are a bit patient.
You can politely refuse the initial settlement offer made by the insurer and make your own counter-offer, which should ideally be somewhat above the actual amount you think you deserve for the Fort Lauderdale crash.
Some Injuries May Show Up Late
It is not uncommon for certain car crash injuries to become apparent with some delay. This is particularly the case with internal injuries. You may think that you are perfectly fine after a Fort Lauderdale crash, only to realize a week or even a month later that you have developed complications due to certain internal injuries.
By not accepting an early offer, you are able to secure the time to fully realize the magnitude of your injuries. If you accept a quick offer only to realize that you have previously unknown injuries from the accident, you will not be in a legal position to seek further compensatory damages.
It Takes Time to Prove Fault
The issue of fault is central to personal injury cases like car accidents. If you can clearly show that the other driver was at fault, you have a solid claim for full damages. However, it takes time to gather relevant evidence. This may include requesting a copy of the police report, getting any CCTV footage that covered the crash, speaking to eyewitnesses, and gathering your own medical records.
Without this evidence, you may be tempted to think that you have a weak claim. And an insurance adjuster will certainly focus on this point when persuading you to accept a short settlement. However, a good car crash lawyer will tell you that gathering evidence always takes some time.
And once you have the evidence, you are in a far better position to negotiate with the insurance company. If you take a short settlement, you don’t have the evidence, which means you have very little negotiating powers.
You Need Time to Measure Lost Wages
A car accident can result in lost wages when you are forced to take time away from your work due to injuries. You can’t know the full extent of these lost wages unless you have recovered and resumed work. If you settle sooner, you will not be able to recoup the full amount of your lost wages. In fact, the amount you receive may be used towards keeping yourself financially afloat while you take time away from work.
You Can Hire Legal Services with No Money
Many car crash victims believe that hiring a good car crash lawyer costs a lot of money. However, this is typically not the case. Most personal injury law firms offer a contingency arrangement on car accident claims. This means that you can hire their services without any upfront fees, and pay legal fees only when and if your claim is successful.
If you are settling quickly and for a smaller amount because you fear you can’t afford legal fees, a contingency arrangement can help you secure the maximum amount of settlement.
Hiring a Reliable Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a car crash in Fort Lauderdale, it is important to hire the services of a good lawyer. Here at Englander Peebles, our law firm works with Fort Lauderdale crash victims to get them the settlement they deserve. Get in touch with us today to discuss your crash claim with our lawyers.