Don’t Accept Initial Settlement Offers

September 28, 2016



By Tim Becker —

After a truck crash, it’s common for a trucking company to approach victims with a settlement offer. Their insurance adjusters often call or try to visit injured persons or their family members in-person to pressure them to accept the offer, which can be tempting for those already worrying about how to pay medical bills.

Sometimes, people are asked to provide a recorded statement, release medical records, or give a written statement. You and your family members are not obligated to speak to or negotiate with insurance adjusters, and you should never agree to anything without having your attorney present.

If you are contacted with an initial settlement, remember that insurance adjusters, no matter how sympathetic they may seem, are not working with your well-being in mind. They work for the insurance companies of motor carriers, and their only mission is to save their clients’ money.

While their offer might seem like a lot of money, it is almost certainly much less than you and your family members are entitled to. They know if you hire an attorney, you will likely end up with a much larger recovery.

If you have been hurt, you may not realize how serious your injuries are. Your recovery could take years, or even the rest of your life. If you don’t wait to get the full picture of your medical treatment and expenses, your future lost wages, your pain and suffering, and the other effects of the crash before accepting a settlement, you’ll be on the hook once the money from the low-ball initial offer dries up.

In the days immediately after a truck crash, it is impossible to know what you might be entitled to in terms of lost income, emotional distress and other factors. Hiring an experienced attorney levels the playing field between you and the trucking company.

Tim Becker, a truck crash attorney with Dollar Burns & Becker and victim advocate.