Following a motor vehicle accident that results in injuries, it is common for the at-fault party’s insurance company to offer you a settlement.
While the initial offer may seem tempting, there are several reasons to resist the urge to accept it without careful consideration.
1. Hidden costs and ongoing medical expenses
Accepting an early settlement may not account for all the costs associated with your injuries. The true extent of your medical expenses and ongoing treatment needs might not become apparent until weeks or months after the accident.
2. Loss of future earnings
Injuries sustained in a car accident can have long-lasting effects on your ability to work and earn a living. An early settlement may not accurately reflect the impact of your injuries on your future earning potential.
3. Emotional and psychological trauma
In addition to physical injuries, a motor vehicle accident can result in emotional and psychological trauma. Anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are common outcomes that might not be immediately evident. Accepting a quick settlement could leave you without the resources to seek the necessary mental health care and support you may require in the long term.
4. Complex processes
By accepting an initial settlement offer, you may inadvertently limit your ability to pursue further compensation if your injuries worsen or if you encounter complications down the road. It is important to remember that insurance companies aim to minimize their payouts, and the first settlement offer often reflects that.
In 2022, Pennsylvania had 115,938 traffic crashes, resulting in 1,179 lives lost and 67,012 injured people. When a crash causes even a seemingly minor injury, the potential for long-term issues makes it important to consider any settlement offers carefully.