5 Reasons to Think Twice Before Accepting an Insurance Settlement Offer in Bakersfield
We know that most of our clients will encounter an insurance company soon after their injury. The adjustor might call you, email you, or send you a letter in the mail.
Unfortunately, these representatives can sound very persuasive in those encounters — even when they aren’t truly motivated to help you.
Below, we sound an alarm for anyone considering a potential insurance settlement in a Bakersfield auto accident or personal injury case.
1. The Insurance Company Is Not on Your Side
We’ve all seen the television commercials. Insurance companies are very clever when it comes to characters, catchphrases, slogans, and jingles.
But just because a commercial is catchy, that doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, some of the most insurance company slogans are extremely misleading.
Did you know most of the insurance providers in California don’t have an obligation to represent your best interests?
Even if you’ve been a loyal customer, paying your expensive premiums on time for years… or even if you’ve been wrongfully injured by someone who has an applicable insurance policy… the insurers look out for their own shareholders and bank accounts first.
This is true with auto insurance, homeowner’s and property insurance, medical insurance, and many other kinds of liability insurance.
So before you assume that your insurance company is a “good neighbor,” “on your side,” or any of the other phrases we hear so often, remember that you might not be getting the whole picture.
2. Most Insurance Settlement Offers Are “Lowballs”
When you first see the dollar amount in your insurance provider’s settlement offer, you might assume they have a reasonable basis for the amount they’ve listed.
In fact, there are many different ways to calculate damages, and those formulas can produce vastly different dollar amounts.
Your insurance company will almost always choose the approach that produces the smallest amount of money for you… and then reduce that amount as a settlement offer.
As a result, California accident victims who sign insurance settlements are often getting “lowballed,” signing off on way less than they deserve.
3. You Don’t Know What Your Damages Are Worth Yet
The day after an accident, you might think you’ve suffered little or no harm. You might tell yourself, “I’m lucky if I get anything out of this.” But you could be entitled to so much more than you realize.
Medical injuries don’t always show up right away. Many common auto accident injuries, for example, do not produce serious symptoms for several weeks. Some take months or even years.
The same is true for property damage and other financial losses. For example, your car might seem fine now, but it could develop serious problems next month as a direct result of the crash. In fact, if you took it to the mechanic today, he or she might discover major problems you weren’t aware of yet.
You could end up missing more time at work too.
That’s why it’s best to resist rushing into a hasty insurance settlement offer. Call an experienced Bakersfield personal injury attorney instead. At The Law Offices of Mickey Fine, we can help you get a better sense of your potential damages right away.
4. Insurance Settlements Limit Your Future Options
Why do insurance companies offer settlements in the first place? There’s an easy answer: they want to save money.
Accordingly, when you sign an insurance settlement, you are usually required to sign away your right to sue in the future. But you don’t know what might happen in the future.
This same accident could still cause you major problems down the road— problems that haven’t occurred to you yet.
Imagine signing a settlement offer on Monday. Then, on Tuesday, an experienced Bakersfield personal injury attorney tells you your damages were worth an additional $10,000 (for example). How would you feel? Don’t make that mistake!
5. Hiring a Bakersfield Personal Injury Attorney Won’t Cost You Out of Pocket
At The Law Offices of Mickey Fine, we are committed to the idea that financial ability should never pose a barrier to justice. That’s why we offer the following to all our auto accident and personal injury clients:
- Free consultation — Learn more about your rights and options at absolutely no cost.
- Contingency fees — If you hire us, you only have to pay us if we succeed in recovering money for your claim. Our fee is only a portion of your overall recovery, meaning you never have to pay anything upfront.
There is nothing to lose. That’s why you should always consult with a law firm you trust before you talk to the insurance company.
Get Great Legal Advice Today.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Learn your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Mickey Fine and schedule a free consultation today. Simply call, text, or contact us online.