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What To Do on Your First Offer from the Insurance Company – Truck Accident

Truck accidents happen in a moment but can cause months or years of struggles. If you’ve suffered an injury in a truck accident, you will likely face challenging times. Trucking collisions can be traumatizing, and you may have a long road to recovery ahead of you.

Additionally, you might also face significant financial losses as you deal with the aftermath of your accident and mounting medical bills. You might not be working as you usually do, leading to lost income and stress on the household.

Insurance companies know the difficulties injured collision victims face, which is why they often send quick initial settlement offers. While settling your claim quickly might seem like the best-case scenario, it’s important to thoroughly scrutinize your offer and avoid acting too quickly.

A skilled truck accident attorney can help ensure you don’t make mistakes with your collision claim and avoid unfortunate mishaps.


Insurance Makes Truck Accident Cases More Complex

Truck & Car Accident

Many believe truck accidents are very similar to car accidents, but that’s not usually the case. Truck accident cases are typically much more complicated, making obtaining justice and compensation a bit more challenging.

With their large size and significant weight, commercial trucks can cause extensive damage and life-altering injuries. It’s not uncommon for truck accident victims to face severe injuries and never fully recover. When victims suffer substantial injuries, they require more compensation to afford medical care and cover related expenses and losses.

Often, trucking collision victims must pursue compensation from insurance companies. Insurance coverage for commercial trucks differs greatly from policies for regular vehicles since trucks can cause more considerable injuries and damage. Depending on the type of truck and cargo, companies may need various kinds of insurance policies to protect against all of the liabilities they might face.

Insurance coverage for trucks can range from $300,000 to $5 million. When insurance companies have that much money on the line, you can trust they’ll do whatever they can to limit their liability and try to avoid paying you what your claim is truly worth.

In your case, the insurance company may put up quite the fight and utilize several strategies to protect themselves. Therefore, it’s crucial to have quality legal representation to handle insurance matters and get the financial recovery you deserve.

What is a “First Offer” From the Insurance Company?

If you’ve never had to file a collision claim with an insurance company, you may not be aware of one of the most used tactics: the first offer.

A first offer is simply an initial settlement offer from the insurance company. Usually, you’ll receive this offer rather quickly into the claim process, which is part of its charm. Insurance companies hope to get you early on so the claim settles quickly, and you’re left with no available options for more compensation down the line.

It’s essential to fully understand what a first offer entails, why the insurance companies use it, and the implications of accepting it too quickly. Familiarizing yourself with the first offer strategy can help prevent common mistakes.

Why Insurance Companies Make Quick First Offers

First Offer from Insurance Company

If a quick settlement offer from the insurance company seems too good to be true, it’s probably because it is. While a speedy settlement and money in your pocket might appear like the ideal situation, it’s not always what it seems.

Insurance companies have their reasons for offering to settle your claim rapidly. When victims are in a rush or don’t have proper guidance from an attorney, it’s easier to fall into the trap.

You May Want to Resolve Your Claim Right Away

Insurance companies hope the sight of dollar signs is enough to get you to sign on the dotted line. The offer is often tempting to accident victims, especially as the medical expenses quickly add up and you start to feel the weight of time off from work and other financial losses.

What many trucking collision victims don’t know is that these initial offers don’t normally represent even a percentage of how much your claim is actually worth. And, if you act too fast and agree to settle, you may be left with no other legal options to seek additional compensation down the line, leaving you in a dire financial situation.

Early in the claim process, you might not have an attorney representing you yet, or you may not have any plans to hire a lawyer. Insurance companies prey on unrepresented victims, as they don’t fully understand the claim process and how to calculate their damages.

Victims who don’t have attorneys commonly fall for insurance companies’ tactics and settle their claims for much less than they could have received otherwise.

You Don’t Know the Full Extent of Your Injuries and Losses

Immediately after your truck accident, knowing the full extent of your losses is impossible. When you settle your claim too quickly, you may later learn your case was worth much more than you initially thought. At this point, it may be too late.

It takes some time to fully understand the value of your claim. For example, you may have suffered serious injuries in your collision and need ongoing treatment. When you try to settle your claim too soon, you may suffer complications that require additional medical care you wouldn’t account for in your early settlement. Additionally, it may be too early to get the whole picture regarding other losses, like vehicle damages.

When you accept a settlement offer and receive payment, it will be too late to seek more compensation later if you realize you need it.

Receiving an Initial Offer from the Insurance Company – What To Do

If you receive an initial settlement offer from the insurance company, you may be unsure what to do next. It’s vital to sit on it and not act too quickly before considering and evaluating what the insurer offers. You must also consider the implications of accepting the first offer versus continuing negotiations with representation from a truck accident lawyer.

Don’t Accept Right Away

Whatever you do, don’t accept a first offer right away. While it may be tempting to “get it over with” and agree to what the insurance company is offering, it’s best not to accept anything.

Many accident victims accept initial settlements, thinking this is the best they will get and a prime opportunity to receive financial recovery. This is a common misconception. An initial offer is not the insurance company’s best and final offer, and you can get more with some time, effort, and patience.

You’re not required to accept the insurer’s first offer. It isn’t a “make or break” situation. If you don’t agree to settle right away, you’ll still have the opportunity to continue your pursuit of fair settlement.

Consult Your Truck Accident Attorney

After receiving a first offer, consult your truck accident lawyer right away. Attorneys have experience dealing with insurance companies and reviewing initial offers. Your lawyer can tell you whether the offer is good enough to entertain or not worth considering.

Even if your truck accident attorney believes it is a lowball offer, there’s no need to worry. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to attempt to get a better offer. If necessary, your attorney can even take the matter to civil court.

Evaluating Your Initial Offer from the Insurance Company

Attorney Evaluates Insurance Company's First Offer

When you look at your first offer from the insurance company, you see a dollar amount. The dollar sign may have you leaning toward accepting and resolving your claim, but you shouldn’t move so quickly. When your lawyer looks at the initial offer, they see an opportunity to closely evaluate and determine whether it is fair.

As your truck accident attorney evaluates your first offer, they’ll contemplate certain questions, including:

  • Has the victim fully recovered, or do the injuries require more treatment?
  • Has the victim’s daily life been affected by the collision? If so, how?
  • Has the victim’s ability to work been impacted? Will they need to miss more work in the future?
  • What are the insured’s policy limits?

These and other related questions can help your lawyer determine whether the offer is worth considering. Depending on their qualified opinion, they can share their thoughts, provide advice, and decide the next best steps.

Determining the True Value of Your Truck Accident Claim

Accurately determining your case’s value is critical to obtain the best possible claim result. Damages compensate you for your accident-related injuries, expenses, and losses; the damages you’re entitled to receive will depend on the specifics of your collision.

Potential damages for a truck accident case include:

  • Medical expenses for past and future treatment
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Lost earnings
  • Diminished or lost earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability

Your truck accident attorney can review how your collision has impacted your physical well-being, life, and finances to decipher what damages you can pursue and the value of your claim.

Factors Impacting How Much Your Claim Is Worth

Determining how much your case is truly worth requires looking at several pertinent factors. Your truck accident lawyer can review the following details:

  • The harm you suffered as a result of your accident and the severity of these injuries
  • Your total medical expenses
  • Whether you’ll require medical treatment in the future
  • Whether you’ve had to take off from work to recover, and if so, the total of your lost income
  • Whether you can return to work at all, and if so, to what capacity
  • How your collision has impacted you mentally and emotionally
  • Any other monetary and non-monetary losses resulting from your trucking accident

These and other factors can help your attorney calculate your damages and assign a dollar amount to your claim. Knowing how much your claim is worth is key to helping ensure you get the settlement you need and deserve.

Implications of Accepting the Insurance Company’s First Offer

Accepting an initial offer might seem like the easiest solution to many of your problems, but agreeing to settle can also have long-term implications.

When you accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, you’re forfeiting your right to seek supplemental recovery later on if need be. Simply put, the amount you agree to in your settlement is all you’ll get, period. When you agree to settle, you’ll need to sign a release agreeing to let the insurance company “off the hook” and never pursue additional compensation for this claim again.

To avoid losing the right to obtain the compensation you deserve, don’t agree to anything off the bat. Look at your initial offer as a starting point for negotiations and let your attorney take it from there.

What Happens if I Don’t Accept the Insurer’s Initial Offer?

If, after reviewing the offer, your attorney decides it’s best not to accept, trust their professional opinion. Allow your lawyer to use the first offer as an opening to engage in settlement negotiations. Your attorney can communicate back and forth with the insurance company to get you a just settlement amount.

Truck Accident Attorney

You’re not legally required to hire an attorney after a truck accident. However, doing so is truly in your best interest.

Having a strong lawyer on your side means not having to worry about many things, including dealing with the insurance company or having to fight on your own to protect your rights to fair compensation.

An attorney not only provides much-needed guidance, direction, and peace of mind, but also fierce representation. You can trust your lawyer to always keep your best interests in mind and do whatever is necessary to get you an advantageous result.

Don’t Accept Any Offers Without First Discussing it with a Qualified Truck Accident Lawyer

If the insurance company offers to settle your claim, do not wait to discuss the matter with your personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can assist you in making the most educated and well-thought-out decision to safeguard your interests and rights to just financial recovery.