Pedestrian accidents are among the most common personal injury cases. More than 15 000 people in New York sustain injuries, and 300 die from pedestrian accidents each year. This means an average of 41 people sustain injuries, and one person dies from these accidents.
Superficially, getting a compensation offer from the defendant’s insurance company is enticing. This means victims will get compensation for injuries and damages sustained.
However, this isn’t always the case. Most insurance companies offer very low settlements. In most cases, the insurance company’s initial assessment doesn’t include all the compensation victims deserve. Suppose you happen to live in the Bronx and are a pedestrian accident victim.
In that case, hiring experienced lawyers from a reputable Bronx pedestrian accident law firm is a good way of ensuring you get fair compensation.
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Accept The Initial Settlement Offer
While accepting the initial offer from the party at fault’s insurance provider is very tempting, you should reconsider the offer. For starters, you certainly can’t be sure of how much compensation is enough right after the accident. Below are key reasons why you should reject the first offer:
1. Insurance Companies Typically Start With Low Offers
Most insurance companies start with low offers, hoping the victim will accept or suggest negotiations. Usually, the initial offer is a fraction of the actual compensation for the injuries and damages sustained.
The insurance company can pressure victims into accepting the initial offer fast before the full extent of injuries and damages are realized.
2. You Have The Right To Be Compensated In Areas Initial Offers Don’t Cover
Most pedestrian accident victims know they deserve compensation for direct financial losses incurred after an accident. For instance, the insurance company should compensate for property damage caused by the liable party’s negligence. Victims also enjoy compensation for medical expenses incurred.
However, most initial offers don’t include additional areas where victims can claim compensation. For instance, victims can claim compensation for lost wages if they can’t work due to injuries sustained. They can also claim compensation for the pain and suffering from the accident.
While pain and emotional suffering doesn’t have a direct financial association, compensation for these elements helps victims rebuild their lives after the accident.
Most initial insurance offers don’t acknowledge these elements. Pedestrian accident victims should work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help them uncover their rightful compensation.
3. You Can’t Be Sure Of Long-Term Medical Costs
Insurance companies often submit their initial offer shortly after the accident, especially if there’s concrete evidence on the liable party. However, victims can’t determine their long-term medical costs within such a short period.
Recovering from some injuries, such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injury, can take months or years.
While doctors can predict your immediate medical needs, they can’t confirm how costly procedures can get in the future. You can develop complications that initial evaluations don’t account for. You may also need more care for serious medical needs than average victims.
Therefore, even if you suffer minor injuries like broken bones, complications during recovery can increase treatment costs. Accepting the initial settlement means you won’t recover full compensation for your injuries.
4. Your Lawyer Needs Time To Review The Terms Of The Insurance Policy
Adjusters and insurance company reps employ all tricks to convince victims to accept their initial offers. Among their many tricks is a suggestion that your initial settlement is the maximum possible compensation based on the liable party’s insurance policy.
While some insurance policies, such as auto insurance policies, have strict limits, this doesn’t mean you are out of options.
In most cases, victims of pedestrian accidents can access more compensation than the amount initially offered due to exceptions and extra perks on the insurance policy. Your lawyer can evaluate the insurance policy and identify loopholes that you can take advantage of to maximize compensation.
The Bottom Line
The temptation to accept an initial settlement offer is real, especially if you have financial challenges. However, you shouldn’t be quick to accept these offers. Accepting the offer means you can’t negotiate for better compensation.
You should work with a personal injury attorney to determine a good settlement offer for your case. Your lawyer will review your damages, give a counteroffer, and negotiate with the insurance company.
If you can’t come to an agreement with the liable party, you can file the claim in court.
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