A settlement offer is a proposal made by the defendant to settle an insurance claim for less than the total value of the claim because they believe that aspects of your case may make it difficult to win.
A settlement offer can be tempting if you want closure and don’t have much time or resources to spend on litigation. However, it’s essential to understand that settling doesn’t mean you get everything covered in your insurance policy.
It would be best if you never accepted anything without first consulting with Idaho Car Accident Lawyers. They can help determine whether or not it’s the best deal for your case.
Why You should not Accept the First Settlement Offer
A first offer usually comes with a deadline, like three days for you to respond, or else the defendant will withdraw their original proposal and won’t make another one.
There are several reasons why it may be in your best interest to reject a first settlement offer and continue with litigation. For example, if you suffered an injury or illness due to someone else’s negligence, then they should be held accountable for all of the costs associated with treating that injury. Even though there is no guarantee that you will win your case, you deserve compensation for all costs and pain associated with an accident.
The first time you receive a settlement proposal from someone at fault in an auto accident should never be considered final. Unless the first offer includes every aspect covered by your insurance policy, then you should never accept it. A first settlement offer is just the first step in negotiations.
The first offer will not Account for Your Need
First settlement generally offers only account for the costs of medical treatment and not any other factors like lost wages or pain and suffering. If you suffered a severe injury, your first offer would likely include amounts that cover all related medical bills but nothing else. However, this isn’t an accurate reflection of everything you’ve gone through because it doesn’t account for:
- The time you missed from work
- Higher insurance premiums in the future
- Non-economic damages like pain and suffering
Your first settlement offer will also not include any punitive damages that would be imposed if a jury believed that your accident was due to another person’s intentional behavior. A first settlement proposal is just an opening bid. It doesn’t reflect the total value of your case because it doesn’t account for all possible damages.
Higher Offer can be Made
If you reject a first settlement offer, it doesn’t mean that the defendant will withdraw their proposal and make another one. Defendants may be willing to increase their first offer if they believe there’s a reasonable chance of:
- Losing at trial
- Getting a lower verdict from a jury
It will be good if you never reject or accept a first settlement offer without consulting an attorney because they can determine the likelihood of getting a better deal.
In conclusion, a first settlement proposal is not final, you don’t have to accept it as soon as you receive it, and in most cases, it won’t be enough money for all of your injuries or losses from the accident.