Should You Settle Your Ohio Car Accident Claim with an Insurance Company?
As if circumstances aren’t difficult after you’ve suffered injuries in an Ohio car accident, it’s likely you’ll also receive annoying phone calls from the responsible party’s insurance company. The agent will try to push you toward settlement of your claims by telling you that your case is weak and that agreeing to their monetary offer is in your best interests. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if an insurer contacts you to discuss settlement options. Talk to a personal injury attorney about the details of your case before making any agreement, because an insurance company is definitely not on your side.
An Insurance Company is a Business: Like any other company, insurers are in business to make profits – and they don’t achieve these gains by paying out large settlement sums to victims of car accidents. Instead, their strategy is to offer a low settlement amount to protect their financial interests, which may seem tempting because they’re willing to pay quickly once you agree. A car accident attorney, on the other hand, puts your interests first to negotiate a settlement amount that will fully compensate you for your losses.
Insurance Companies Aren’t on Your Side: The agents, lawyers, adjusters, and other employees of an insurer work for the company – not you. Their job is to further the insurance company’s financial interests. Failure to do so by offering a higher settlement amount may result in an employee’s termination, something he or she is unlikely to do for a stranger. These people are not on your side, but a lawyer with experience in settlement negotiations has your best interests in mind.
You May Not Obtain the Compensation You Deserve: When insurance agents make a tempting offer to settle your claim, you can be sure that the amount is based on extensive legal research conducted by the company’s lawyers. They know what is fair and reasonable for your injuries – and they know that you don’t, if you don’t have a legal background. You risk obtaining an amount that won’t fully compensate you for your injuries if you trust an insurer’s offer to settle. An auto accident lawyer will take all factors into account to make sure you’re not under-compensated.
The Clock is Ticking on Your Time to File a Lawsuit: In Ohio, you must file a lawsuit within two years of a car accident or you’re forever barred. Insurance agents know the legal issues involved with this law, known as a statute of limitations, and may try delay tactics that result in you losing your right to sue. A car accident lawyer won’t waste time with unproductive negotiations, but will file a lawsuit when it becomes necessary.
Insurance companies are motivated by one goal as a business: Profits. They don’t make money by offering you a high settlement amount for your injuries after an Ohio car accident, and agents will do whatever they can to persuade you to accept compensation that’s much lower than what you deserve. An Ohio car accident attorney will fight for your rights to the highest amount of compensation available under the law. Please contact the Toledo office of Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC to speak with one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers about your options.