Should You Accept the First Settlement Offer After a Crash?

A dummy holds a settlement check

When insurance companies are quick to make a settlement offer following an accident, it’s best for injured victims to avoid accepting it for a few reasons. Even if the initial offer seems like an ample amount, it may not cover all of the costs associated with injuries resulting from the accident. 

Why Accident Victims Should Typically Reject the First Offer

Regardless of how attractive that initial offer from an insurer may seem, there are several costs that the offer may not cover. For example, injuries could require long recovery periods, or they may be serious enough to permanently disable the victim, preventing them from being able to work again. Ultimately, that first offer is unlikely to account for these factors, which is why accident victims should consider rejecting it.

Insurance Companies Make Offers That Are Best for Them, Not Victims

That first offer may be tempting to accept, particularly because the money is likely to appear in the recipient’s account within days of accepting it. However, there may be many future medical costs in treating injuries, along with lost wages due to time taken off from work to recover.

Insurers will have a good understanding of what accident victims truly deserve in terms of compensation for injuries and other damages, but they will start with the smallest possible offer to avoid making a larger payout. Insurers hope that victims will accept the offer, and may give recipients the impression that they will receive more money at a later point.

What Compensation Should Cover Following a Motor Vehicle Accident

There are many damages that compensation may cover after a motor vehicle accident, which an initial offer might not cover. These damages could include medical expenses, pain and suffering, damage to vehicles, lost wages, emotional distress, rehabilitation, or loss of companionship.

Insurance companies will only pay out what they believe they need to, not what the victim may actually deserve. This is why it’s often necessary for victims to negotiate for a better deal and decline that first offer. In some cases, negotiating with insurers may not be sufficient, and a personal injury claim or lawsuit may be required to recover full compensation.

By rejecting the first offer from an insurer and pursuing a higher amount, accident victims will have a better chance of recovering compensation that covers all of the potential damages resulting from the accident.