Should You Accept the Initial Car Accident Settlement

Victim of an accident speaking with insurance adjuster.

Should You Accept the Initial Car Accident Settlement

Receiving a settlement offer after an accident should be a relief. You need these funds to cover the cost of medical treatments, make up for any wages lost due to your injuries, and, in many cases, help you rebuild your life while coping with (sometimes permanent) limitations caused by an accident.

Unfortunately, the initial settlement offer may not provide the desired peace of mind. Should you participate? Do insurance companies make reasonable initial settlement offers?

Generally, it would help if you do not accept an auto insurer's initial settlement offer without consulting an attorney.

Why You Should Not Accept A Car Insurance Company's First Settlement Offer

The initial settlement offer serves as the negotiating starting point. Before consulting with a personal injury attorney, auto insurance companies take advantage of your vulnerabilities and provide inadequate offers in the hope that you will accept them.

Many Insurance Companies Use AI To Compute Initial Settlement Offers

Without a human element in the equation, it may be difficult for you to receive a settlement offer that accurately reflects the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Settlement offers by AI frequently involve only a percentage of the damages you have sustained; this percentage is frequently negligible compared to the actual damages you have sustained.

The insurance adjuster who handles your initial auto accident claim may have limited room for negotiation with you. However, if you work with an attorney for a car accident claim, you may discover that you are entitled to significantly more compensation for your accident and injuries.

You May Not Know What Your Immediate Medical Bills Will Look Like

Insurance companies sometimes offer an initial settlement within a few days or weeks of an accident. At this point, you may not even know what your recovery will entail or fully understand the extent of your injuries.

For example, the accident caused you to sustain a spinal cord injury. You may not know how much strength and mobility you will regain for up to six months, let alone what your eventual medical expenses will be.

In addition, many injuries can result in severe complications that increase the cost of medical care. If you have suffered severe burns, you may have a high risk of infection, which could make your recovery more difficult. In addition, you may have future procedures that must be included in any settlement offer.

Setbacks and unpredictability may mar your recovery. In the meantime, as you continue to receive medical care for your injuries, the associated expenses may continue to rise.

The insurance company's initial settlement offer cannot include the full amount because even your doctors may not be aware of all the complications and difficulties you may face as you recover from your injuries.

Although the insurance company may attempt to include anticipated medical expenses as part of the claim, your settlement offer may not include all of the medical costs you will incur.

You Cannot Add Further Medical Expenses After Accepting The Settlement Offer

Some individuals believe that if they sustain more severe injuries or require more medical care than anticipated, they can file a second claim with their insurer.

When you sign a settlement offer, you are not only obligated to accept the specified amount, but you also forfeit the right to seek future compensation from the insurance company.

Even if you discover significant complications during your recovery or significantly underestimate your medical expenses, you will be unable to pursue additional compensation.

Especially if the injuries are more severe than anticipated, you may have difficulty paying your medical bills.

You May Be Eligible For More Compensation

The insurance adjuster may convince you to accept the initial settlement offer because it is "the most the company can offer." In addition to "policy limits" and "company policy," the adjuster may also use phrases such as "policy limits" and "company policy."

In addition, you may not know how much compensation you are entitled to immediately after an accident. What should be expected? How can you determine whether the insurance company's offer is fair?

A lawyer can assist you in identifying the compensation to which you are entitled after a car accident and provide you with a better understanding of a fair settlement offer.

In some instances, California car accident lawyers may uncover compensation you were unaware of.

Insurance Company Often Acts To Protect Its Best Interest In The Initial Offer

As the injured victim of a severe car accident, you may believe that insurance exists to provide the necessary compensation.

However, insurance companies frequently seek to minimize payouts to the greatest extent possible. Initial settlement offers may not take the victim's needs into account. Instead, it may emphasize the insurance company's potential losses and its desire to mitigate them to the greatest extent possible.

What Should You Do Upon Receiving a Settlement Offer?

The insurance company communicated. You received a verbal settlement offer. You may recognize that you should not accept or believe it does not meet your requirements. What should you do in response?

Don't Provide A Verbal Acceptance of An Offer

Do not accept the initial proposal. Instead, request time to consider the offer before accepting it. Inform the insurance adjuster that you will need to compare this offer to the financial losses you have incurred due to the accident.

The insurance adjuster may exert verbal pressure on you to accept an offer quickly, even attempting to persuade you that the company will withdraw the offer if you do not accept within a certain time frame—sometimes a matter of hours or days.

In reality, however, you are entitled to the compensation you deserve, and by accepting a settlement offer that does not reflect this amount, you forfeited the funds.

Consult Your Attorney Concerning The Offer

Consult an accident lawyer to determine if you are eligible for compensation after a car accident.

You may assume that the insurance company has adequately compensated you if you have previously filed claims for auto accidents involving only property damage. The insurance company may make a reasonable settlement offer shortly after the accident.

A lawyer can assist you in calculating your accident-related financial losses and give you a better idea of what to expect. A lawyer can also identify compensation areas you may not have considered when calculating your potential accident compensation.

Transmit A Counteroffer

A counteroffer can enable you to specify the actual financial losses you've sustained due to your accident and the amount of compensation you require or anticipate from the insurance company.

A lawyer can put together an effective counteroffer, including a thorough description of your losses and the amount of compensation you can expect.

A lawyer can also assist in examining the terms of an insurance policy to identify compensation that the insurance company should provide but may not explicitly state.


Suppose you were injured in an automobile collision. In such a case, a car accident attorney could provide additional details regarding the compensation you deserve and how to deal with the insurance company. Contact an accident lawyer in CA as soon as possible after your accident to learn more about the compensation you are entitled to.

If you need an attorney for a car accident claim, we can help. Our attorneys and team members at Mendez and Sanchez Law are available to assist you in navigating the complex legal landscape as we pursue the compensation you deserve. Please contact us immediately regarding your injury, auto accident, workers' compensation, and other legal concerns.

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