Can I Negotiate if I Verbally Accepted a Settlement?
You need to be careful when talking to insurance companies after an accident. Adjusters and other insurance company representatives are skilled at making crash victims feel at ease. This may result in victims saying things that could be used against them, or even accepting a settlement offer without realizing more compensation may be available.
However, if you accepted an offer over the phone or in person but have yet to sign the offer, you may be wondering if you are still locked into that settlement amount. Can your attorney continue negotiating on your behalf?
Below, learn more about the consequences of verbally accepting a settlement offer before consulting an attorney and if you may still have options after a verbal acceptance.
Whether you have verbally accepted an offer or are considering an offer, the car accident lawyers in Phoenix at our firm are prepared to help you. Schedule a free consultation for answers to your questions.
Problems with Initial Settlement Offers
The first settlement offer the insurance company makes is almost always far below the full value of a claim, particularly if it comes early in the process.
How can the insurance company know how severe your injuries are? How can the insurance company know how much ongoing treatment you may need?
The answer to both of those questions is: they do not know. They are making a lowball offer hoping you will accept it without much thought.
You are not under any obligation to accept the offer, and despite what the insurance company may tell you, you may be able to negotiate for more compensation. The insurance company is likely to make more offers, especially if you have an attorney negotiating on your behalf.
What if I Gave Verbal Acceptance of a Settlement Offer?
It can be tough to decline a settlement offer if you have been out of work and medical bills are piling up. Insurance adjusters can be quite persuasive on the phone, as they deal with accident victims every day and know what they want to hear.
However, if you have only verbally agreed to an offer and have yet to sign anything, you should strongly consider meeting with an experienced attorney to discuss your options, as a verbal agreement may not be a binding one. While you may think the settlement you verbally agreed to is good enough, you may need more money for ongoing treatment, and you may be able to rescind your acceptance of that initial offer.
The insurance company may want written confirmation from you that you are agreeing to the settlement, or they may want you to come into the office to sign the agreement. At this point, things may not be official, and you may be able to continue negotiating. The insurance company may have a difficult time getting a court to enforce the settlement if you did not sign anything and are disputing it.
However, it is important to have an attorney advocating for you. While attorneys often help victims from the beginning of the process until the end, sometimes they are consulted in the middle of the process.
If you signed a settlement offer, it may be too late to back out of it. Settlements usually include clauses releasing the insurance company and at-fault party from any future liability for the accident. That means you cannot file another claim against them.
You are within your rights to discuss settlement offers with a lawyer before accepting. At Phillips Law Group, an initial consultation about your claim is free of charge.
If you feel uncomfortable talking to the insurance company, you can refer them to your attorney. You may be concerned about saying something that hurts your credibility or sounds like an admission of fault.
Have Questions After a Car Crash? Phillips Law Group is Here to Help
Unlike the insurance company, Phillips Law Group is committed to pursuing maximum compensation for your crash-related damages and expenses. Our firm has been serving injury victims in Phoenix and the surrounding areas for nearly three decades.
The initial consultation is 100 percent free of charge. You are not obligated to hire our firm if we validate your claim, which means talking to us carries no risk.
Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and have obtained more than $750 million on behalf of our clients.
No upfront fees or obligations. Call today: 1-800-706-3000 .
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