#7 - Top 10 Mistakes Pedestrian Accident Victims Make

Mistake #7 - Settling your claim too soon or appearing too eager to settle your pedestrian accident claim.

pedestrian attorney seattle accidentIf your injuries are severe, it may take many months or years before your injuries heal or before they reach maximum improvement. The insurance company will likely want to pressure you into making a quick settlement. Don't! The carrier knows that quick settlements mean much lower pay-outs. And if you have experienced any disfigurement or scarring or loss of function, it may take a long time before the doctors know whether it is permanent or whether future revision surgery may be necessary. The existence of permanent scars, disfigurement, or disability can dramatically increase the value of your claim, so you are always wise to wait to resolve your claim.

Also, appearing too eager to settle the claim can negatively impact the case. Insurance adjustors are trained to look for signs that may weaken your negotiating position. If you are in debt or need money fast, the insurance company will use this fact to its advantage by making much lower settlement offers than might otherwise be warranted. In one case of mine, the client had tried to negotiate a settlement on his own. But during negotiations he also revealed that he had substantial debt and needed the money fast. When I got into the case, the insurance adjustor used this information against me to keep the settlement unreasonably low. The client ultimately had to accept this unreasonably low offer because the insurance adjustor knew that filing a lawsuit would delay resolution of the claim for at least another 18 months. The insurance adjustor knows that a person who really needs the money fast is in a much weaker position to ask for a higher settlement. Therefore, don't appear too eager to settle. Take your time. In fact, be willing to negotiate the claim over a period of days or even weeks. Patience is usually met with a much higher settlement figure.
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