If you verbally accept a settlement offer, you generally have two options:
- You can move forward and accept that offer.
- You can formally rescind your agreement through written documentation.
If you accidentally accepted an offer, but you haven’t signed a release of liability, you can continue negotiating for more money. Yet, you should notify the insurer as soon as possible that you’ve changed your mind, and you should do so in writing. That way, you can prevent any issues that delay your claim further.
Consider Consulting a Lawyer After Suffering Harm in Atlanta
What happens if you verbally accept a settlement and then have second thoughts about the compensation offered by the insurance company? Many verbal agreements aren’t binding–at least, if you haven’t signed anything yet.
You may want to speak with a lawyer if you verbally accepted a settlement offer and then changed your mind. Lawyers have experience rescinding agreements. For instance, your lawyer could argue that you weren’t in a good state of mind when you accepted the offer. They could also show proof of bad faith insurance practices, which could invalidate any verbal agreements given under pressure.
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Warnings Regarding Early Settlement Offers from Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often push for injured individuals to settle fast after an accident. Agents may call you while you’re still in the hospital. In many cases, they insinuate that you won’t get compensation if you do not accept the first offer they make.
Agents may also make vague settlement offers, offering compensation but not disclosing what it’s for (or how much it is). If you hastily accept a settlement without knowing its full details, you could miss out on compensation for:
- Emergency medical care
- The ambulance ride
- Medical tests and procedures
- Lost wages
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
Avoid potential issues with your settlement by allowing a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta to manage your case. They can advise you on whether any settlement offer meets your past, present, and future needs.
You don’t Have to Make a Decision Right Away
Many people feel put on the spot when insurance agents make a verbal settlement offer. Agents often push for an immediate answer, counting on your unease with the situation to make their task easier.
However, you are not required to give an immediate “yes” or “no” answer. It’s perfectly acceptable to tell the agent that you want to consider their offer before making your decision. Let the insurance representative know you wish to discuss the offer with your lawyer to protect yourself from bad faith insurance practices.
You can also request your personal injury attorney handle all communications with insurance agents on your behalf. Your lawyer can filter through any offers made by insurance agents, only bringing you deals that adequately address your situation.
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How do You Respond to a Low Settlement Offer?
Insurance companies often make low settlement offers in the immediate aftermath of an accident. They focus primarily on their bottom line and saving money, so they want individuals to accept the smallest amount possible.
If you receive a low settlement offer over the phone, stay calm. If you have a lawyer, you can tell the representative not to contact you anymore, and instead go through your legal team. If you don’t have a lawyer, you can calmly state that you need to think about the offer, and you’ll get back to them.
When seeking a fair settlement, your lawyer will:
- Consider your past, present, and future healthcare needs
- Assess your injury-related documentation, such as pay stubs and billing statements
- Use evidence to support your right to damages
- Assess the liable insurance policy
- Stand between you and any bad faith insurance practices
Your lawyer will also document every interaction with the insurance company. That way, if the insurance company goes back on its word, you can prove otherwise with supporting documentation.
Prompt Legal Action Benefits Your Situation
Every case comes with a filing deadline. If you suffered a collision, fall, or another negligence-based accident in Georgia, you generally have two years to file your lawsuit, per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. The liable insurance company knows about the deadline––and it’ll do everything possible to delay the legal process. That way, if the statute of limitations expires on your case, you could lose the right to seek compensation from the liable parties.
When you partner with a lawyer on your case, they can manage each applicable deadline and act accordingly. If they sense that negotiations are fruitless, they can move ahead with a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Talk to Bader Scott Injury Lawyers About Your Injury Case
What happens if you verbally accept a settlement offer after an accident in Atlanta? In some cases, you can change your mind and negotiate for more funds. Yet, this can be difficult without a lawyer’s help.
Find out more about the benefits of partnering with an attorney by contacting Bader Scott Injury Lawyers. We offer free case reviews.