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How Long Does It Usually Take to Get an Injury Settlement Offer?

Published October 4, 2019 by Bruce Millar

Many people who call our office are interested in the answer to this question. Occasionally, settlement offers happen very soon after an accident, especially if an insurance adjuster or company wants to settle while you are still receiving medical care or the full extent of your injuries or whether you need future medical care is not known. Whether an early settlement offer should be accepted, is an entirely different matter. 

Usually, we suggest that you do not attempt to settle or discuss settlement until your medical care is complete, you have reached maximum medical improvement, or some other factor such as a limited amount of available insurance exists.  Even then, it is best to look at every angle before committing to settle.

In this article, we will answer a few common questions we receive about early settlement and point out some things to consider before settlement. 

How long before the insurance adjuster makes a settlement offer? 

Do I have to wait until I’m fully recovered until I settle?

I don’t know where to turn?

 

How long before the insurance adjuster offers a settlement figure?

This can vary greatly from case to case.  We’ve seen cases when the insurance adjuster shows up at the hospital or your house, trying to settle an accident claim within hours of the accident – long before you’ve even been able to understand what’s happened to you or what it will mean for you and your future.  In other cases, adjusters may delay for long periods, constantly asking for more ‘documentation’ or making excuses as to why they cannot make you a settlement offer.

It is important to know that the goal of the insurance company is to settle your claim for the least amount of money possible.  Insurance adjusters are sometimes trained to “strike while the iron is hot” and before a victim is fully aware of the damages, because the company knows that some victims will settle quickly for little or no money. They may offer to pay your initial medical bills and a small amount of compensation, in exchange for a full release of future medical bills and compensation. 

Generally, once you sign a release you may lose your rights to seek additional compensation even if the full amount of your medical expenses, lost pay and pain and suffering are not known.

We recommend that you do not sign any settlement agreement before you consult with an attorney.

 

Do I have to wait until I’m fully recovered until I settle?

It is usually best to wait to settle your claims until the total cost of the medical treatment and the full extent of your recovery is known.  This allows you to recover all past and future medical expenses, as well as to learn how fully you have recovered.  A case with surgery and physical therapy, or permanent or long-lasting injuries will quite often have a much larger settlement value than a minor injury.

Even when all the necessary testing and surgical procedures have been completed, there will be recovery time. The time it takes to regain your abilities is different from person to person and injury to injury.  Even though it may be difficult to wait, not capturing all the costs or taking the chance of not including all the medical care necessary can be risky, because once you settle there is no chance of going back to get additional money.

 

I don’t know where to turn?

Our team of legal professionals has handled personal injury claims for over 26 years.  Consultations are always free, and we are happy to answer your questions and provide a case evaluation in person or by telephone, even if you decide not to hire an attorney.

Call the legal team at the Millar Law Firm for a free case consultation today. 770-400-0000

 

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