Phoenix Personal Injury: Is a Quick Settlement Good? How to deal with insurance companies.

Dealing with insurance companies in Arizona

You are injured in an accident. The other side’s insurance company wants a quick settlement. They offer you money to “get it done”. You are sore, but don’t think your injuries are serious. What should you do?

Let me give you something to think about. First, ask yourself: Why is the insurance company so anxious to settle now? Usually insurance companies fight having to pay anything, yet this one is being so nice and wants to throw money at me. What am I missing?

Understand, you are now treading on the insurance company’s home turf. They have a tremendous home field advantage. They have been doing this for decades. They know that by dangling the money carrot of a quick settlement, before you might fully realize the extent or duration of your injuries, that they pay less and they win—every time. Often, a victim (who does not otherwise know) will take the money and relinquish all rights to future compensation. This means that, by offering a quick settlement, the insurance company can often get out of paying the full value of a claim. In fact, many settlement offers from insurance companies are pennies on the dollar when compared to the true value of a case.

Have you found yourself in this circumstance? If so, why not call an experienced personal injury attorney for an opinion regarding your case? These consultations are generally free, so, getting a bit more educated is free, and then you can make your decision. Insurance companies don’t like this scenario. They know that personal injury attorneys will encourage clients to wait a bit to fully understand the nature and extent of their injuries. Keep in mind: Likely, even a month down the road, if your injuries get better and you don’t need medical care, the same “quick money” offer by the insurance company will still be available to you. At least then you know. You are educated, you know that you have healed and you can make a better choice. Even if you retained the attorney to assist you, statistics show that victims who are represented by a personal injury attorney often recover more than those who represent themselves.

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An illustration may help to clarify this process

Jason is injured in a car accident. He visited an Urgent Care on the day of the accident and his medical bills total $500.  The damage to his car comes to $2,000. Almost immediately, the at-fault driver’s insurance company begins calling and offers Jason $4,000 to settle. Jason thinks he will be okay and that this sounds like a fair offer and accepts. The entire transaction, from the date of the accident to the day Jason receives his check is just over seven days.

Thereafter and unfortunately, The soreness in Jason’s neck and back does not go away. After a few weeks, Jason decides to get some medical attention. He goes to a doctor who diagnoses whiplash from the accident and tells him that he will need medical treatment for the next few months totaling another $5,000 in cost. Does Jason have any rights? Can he claim he didn’t know and therefore can re-institute his claim? The answer is very clear: NO. There is no way for Jason to recover anything more, because he has already signed away his right to further compensation.

Would this have occurred had Jason gone to an experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney? Likely, no. An experienced attorney might have convinced Jason to wait a bit and be sure that his injuries resolved and/or that his medical treatment were fully covered.

Often, personal injury cases that are settled quickly simply do not cover everything important. Insurance companies often push for quick settlements, but victims are usually better off waiting a bit, to see what course their injuries take. An experienced personal injury attorney can help a victim recognize the whole picture, and make the best decisions for his/her individual case.

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