I was rear-ended recently in Shreveport and now the insurance company is offering me a settlement. I’m not sure if I should take it. Is this something I should hire a personal injury attorney for? I’m worried about hiring a lawyer because I know it will cost a lot of money.
Getting into an accident, especially if it was not your fault, can be scary. Unfortunately, people far too often rely on what the insurance company is telling them is the right or appropriate way to handle the situation.
In a situation like this, you should absolutely hire a personal injury attorney to help you get through the confusion that can come with dealing with insurance company settlements. With that being said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
The insurance company will spend as little as possible.
First, the insurance company that is offering you a settlement likely will try to do what they can to spend as little as they can. Because of that, the first offer they make to you will likely not be what your injury is actually worth. A personal injury attorney that is used to working with insurance company adjusters and understands the ins-and-outs of the process will be able to put you in the best financial position possible.
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The insurance company will not preserve all of your rights.
Second, hiring a personal injury attorney will make sure that all of your rights are preserved. In Louisiana, you have one year from the date of injury to file suit to recover for those injuries. Sometimes, when an insurance company makes that first offer, they include language that takes that right away from you. Whether language is included that directly takes away your right to sue or is hidden somewhere within the language, it is important to have an attorney at least review the offer being made. This protects you from signing away your rights and accepting a quick, low payment.
Insurance companies are not the cheapest option.
Finally, you should not worry that hiring an attorney will cost you a lot of money. Hiring an attorney will likely get you MORE money than the insurance company would first offer. Insurance companies know that once you hire a personal injury attorney, that attorney will guide you through the whole process and ensure that more money gets in your pocket at the end of the day. If you are injured in a car accident that was not your fault, always check with an attorney before taking the first settlement: you will be better off in the long run!