What To Do If An Insurer Offers To Settle An Injury Case Before You've Filed A Claim

Law Blog

Suppose you've suffered an injury and someone from an insurance company contacts you about settling. What should you do? How do you even respond to something like that, especially if the incident was only a few weeks or months ago? A personal injury lawyer will more than likely tell you to do these five things.

Get Their Contact Information

Your starting point should be just to determine who they are and who they represent. Ask for their full name, phone number, email address, and any social media accounts they use for business. Likewise, verify what hours they'll be available if you need to contact them by phone.

Ask for the Settlement Offer in Writing

Until they send you a formal settlement offer in writing, there's nothing to discuss or agree to. A formal offer needs to outline what sort of compensation they're proposing to provide. It should also state whether the insurer wishes to pay the settlement as a lump sum or some sort of structured annuity.

Similarly, you'll want to ask if there are any conditions for accepting the settlement. For example, do they want a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for the arrangement? An NDA is far from a deal-breaker, but the insurer should kick in some extra money for limiting your right to discuss the matter with others.

Refuse to Agree to Anything

An offer is an offer, and it's nothing more. If they insist you have to take or leave it at the exact moment, then that's a problem for them to deal with and not you. At the very minimum, you should take some time to show the written offer to a personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can help you to understand what you're accepting or giving up in the settlement. Likewise, they can tell you if they think it's a good deal for you or not.

Don't Discuss Your Situation

There's no need to get into medical details with anybody from the insurance company. Focus on getting them to provide details to you. If they mention something negotiable, don't get into a discussion about it. Simply state that you can't comment on the offer until you've talked with a personal injury lawyer.

Take Time

Most states have statutes of limitations that range between two and three years after the date of an accident. Unless you're up against that statutory limit, there's no reason to get in a rush. Take time to recover physically so you can determine the full extent of your medical costs both past and future.

Contact a personal injury attorney to learn more.


24 August 2021