What Happens If You Don’t Accept a Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company in West Palm Beach, FL?
Gregg Hollander | June 28, 2022 | Personal Injury
Personal injury lawyers negotiate with insurance companies every day to help clients who have been injured in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other personal injury incidents. In fact, most personal injury claims are resolved by filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier and accepting a settlement. However, not all settlements fairly compensate victims for their losses.
What Is a Settlement Offer?
A settlement offer is one party’s attempt to resolve a legal dispute without the need for litigation. When you accept a settlement offer, you are agreeing that you will not sue (or will drop the suit if you’ve already filed) in exchange for what the other party is offering.
If you accept a settlement, you will stop pursuing further legal action against the at-fault party and their insurance company. In exchange, the other party generally agrees to pay a certain amount of money. Florida law specifically states that a settlement offer is not proof that the party is liable for any injuries.
Generally, the settlement agreement is put in writing and is contingent on the injured victim agreeing to release all claims against the at-fault party. This agreement serves as an enforceable contract. The parties are legally obligated to fulfill the terms of the agreement, including payment.
Do I Have to Accept an Insurance Adjuster’s Offer?
No. You do not have to accept an insurance adjuster’s offer. It is important to understand that the insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company. The adjuster is not looking out for your best interests. Instead, they attempt to resolve all claims for as little money as possible in order to protect the insurance company’s profit margin.
Many times, insurance adjusters may try to settle a claim for a value equal to or less than the cost of medical treatment for injuries sustained in the accident. However, you can pursue compensation for the full extent of your losses, including projected losses in the future, future medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and other damages.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can explain whether the amount the insurance adjuster is offering is fair and whether you should accept it.
When to Accept a Settlement Offer
There are times when it may make the most sense to accept a settlement offer. You might consider taking the offer if all of the following conditions are met:
You Have Reached Maximum Medical Improvement
After suffering a personal injury, you may undergo various types of medical procedures and receive ongoing treatment. At some point, your doctor may state that you have reached maximum medical improvement, which is the point where you have improved as much medically as can be expected in your case. It does not mean that you are fully healed or that you will not require medical treatment for your injuries in the future.
However, it is a good point in time to determine the cost of your treatment, the impact the injury will likely have on your future, and the expenses related to ongoing medical care.
You want to reach maximum medical improvement before accepting a settlement offer because once you accept the offer, you cannot usually rescind your acceptance and ask for more money. When you reach maximum medical improvement, you can more accurately estimate the value of your claim.
The Offer Is Fair
The settlement should fairly compensate you for the losses you’ve already suffered, as well as those you’re likely to suffer in the future.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer Recommends It
An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate the offer and advise you whether or not to take it.
What Happens If I Reject a Settlement Offer?
If you reject a settlement offer, your case will continue. Your lawyer may continue settlement negotiations, or you may file a lawsuit.
How to Refuse an Insurance Settlement Offer
If you would like to refuse an insurance settlement offer, it is usually best to do so in writing. Your lawyer can outright reject the offer, or they can make a settlement counter-offer for a higher amount. An experienced West Palm Beach injury lawyer can recommend whether to refuse an insurance settlement offer.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in South Florida
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401