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The 5 Risks of Accepting a Quick Insurance Settlement After a Car Accident in Virginia

Risks of Accepting a Quick Insurance Settlement After a Car Accident in Virginia

Being in a car accident can be a traumatic and stressful experience, and we hope you are never in one. When your vehicle is damaged and you’ve suffered injuries, you want to get things settled with the insurance companies as quickly as possible so you can move on. However, accepting a quick settlement from an insurance company without exploring all your options could lead to complications down the road and not getting all the money you should have received for your claim. As a Virginia accident injury victim, it’s important to understand these risks before agreeing to a fast settlement.

With the right strategy and legal help, you can get the compensation you deserve. For award-winning legal representation after an auto accident, contact a car accident injury lawyer at Altizer Law, a premier Injury Law Firm in Virginia, today for a free consultation, or call us at 540.345.2000. We only get paid, if you get paid.

  1. You May Not Be Getting the Full Value of Your Claim

Insurance companies are ultimately profit-driven businesses. Their goal in any claim situation is to pay out as little money as possible. Therefore, they may offer you a quick, lowball settlement in hopes that you’ll accept without negotiating further or exploring the full value of your case.

However, things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages add up quickly after a serious accident. The initial offer from an insurance adjuster likely won’t fully cover all current and future costs related to the incident. Accepting a low settlement early on could leave you without the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.

  1. You May Not Know the Full Extent of Your Injuries Yet

Some injuries from car accidents, like whiplash or soft tissue damage, take time to fully manifest. You may feel fine initially after the crash and accept a settlement, only to realize in the weeks or months to come that you have chronic pain or stiffness that now requires extensive treatment. Of course, these injuries can be magnitudes greater if involved with a truck, bike, or motorcycle.

Since most standard accident settlements include a signed release of liability, you forfeit your right to come back to the insurance company for more money down the road if it turns out your injuries are worse than anticipated. Rushing into a quick settlement could mean you ultimately get shortchanged if undiscovered injuries emerge later.

  1. You Lose Leverage for Negotiating Unprepared

Big, intimidating Insurance companies typically start with a low settlement offer and then negotiate upward as your case progresses. By immediately accepting their opening offer instead of pushing for more, you lose all leverage for maximizing your payout.

An experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer knows how to strategically negotiate with insurers to get you the highest settlement possible, even in complicated cases. When you have legal representation fighting for your best interests, insurance companies are more motivated to make a fair settlement offer to avoid a potential trial or lawsuit. Going it alone removes that advantage.

  1. Pre-Existing Conditions May Not Be Covered

If you have any pre-existing injuries that get aggravated in the accident, sorting out what medical bills and treatments the insurance company should cover becomes complex. Insurers love to claim that some of your post-accident pain and expenses are related to the pre-existing problem, not the new injury.

Without legal help negotiating, you may end up accepting a settlement that doesn’t fully cover the costs of caring for your aggravated condition. A lawyer can determine what percentage the accident reasonably contributed to your worsened injury and fight for appropriate compensation.

  1. You Give Up Your Right to Future Damages

As mentioned above, most standard accident settlement releases state that you cannot come back and make additional claims related to that same incident in the future. That means you have no recourse if you eventually need surgery, experience permanent impairments, or have other increased costs from this injury down the road.

An experienced personal injury attorney can fight for a “future medicals” provision or keep your case open with the insurer for a set period of time so that if your injury situation changes, the company is still on the hook for covering the associated costs. However, if you accept a lump sum payment and sign away your rights immediately after the accident, you lose this critical protection.

Don’t Go It Alone – Consult a Trusted Virginia Accident Injury Lawyer First

The biggest takeaway when dealing with insurance companies after a car crash is not to accept the first quick settlement you’re offered. Doing so can seriously shortchange you now and prevent you from getting additional compensation later if your injuries turn out to be worse than expected.

An accomplished personal injury lawyer has the experience and negotiation skills to fully protect your rights and maximize your settlement or court award after an accident. They will carefully evaluate all aspects of your case – from valuing damages to determining liability and fighting unfair offers from insurers. This provides you with the strongest footing possible for getting a full and fair recovery.

AtAltizer Law in Roanoke, our dedicated team has guided countless Virginia accident victims through the claims process to positive outcomes for over 25 years. We offer compassionate one-on-one support and work tirelessly to help injured individuals get justice after wrecks caused by dangerous drivers or unsafe conditions. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash and need strong legal counsel on your side, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Contact Altizer Law, a leading Injury Law Firm in Virginia, today for a free consultation, or call us at 540.345.2000.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Settlements in Virginia

What should I do after a car accident in Virginia?

  • Seek medical attention even if you don’t feel hurt at first – some injuries take days or weeks to appear

  • Report the crash to police and your insurance company promptly

  • Document the scene with photos and witness statements

  • Avoid accepting an early settlement before knowing full extent of damages

How much is my car accident claim worth in Virginia?

  • Values vary widely based on severity of injuries, vehicle damage, lost income, and more

  • An experienced Virginia accident lawyer can properly evaluate your unique case

  • Never accept the first low offer from an insurance company

How long do I have to file a claim after a Virginia car accident?

  • Two years from the date of injury for a personal injury claim

  • Five years from the date of injury for a property damage claim

Can I negotiate my car accident settlement myself?

  • It’s possible but very difficult without legal experience, and any mistakes could cost you thousands of dollars

  • An attorney levels the playing field against big insurance companies

  • Legal counsel often increases settlement value significantly

How much does a car accident lawyer cost in Virginia?

  • Most personal injury firms work on contingency fees – no upfront costs

  • Your attorney is paid a % of final settlement or court award if successful. They only get paid, if you get paid.

  • Initial consultations are free – no risk to explore options