Louisiana Personal Injury: Do Not Take First Settlement Offer!

February 9, 2022 General

Louisiana Personal Injury: Do Not Take First Settlement Offer!

In Louisiana, if you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident or other accident, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and any damage to property (like a vehicle). Generally, the first step in seeking compensation is to file an insurance claim against the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. We, here at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC., strongly recommend that you do NOT take the first settlement offer that is provided. You should DEFINITELY not take the first offer if you have not sought the advice and counsel of experienced Louisiana personal injury attorneys. Here are a few reasons for not taking the first settlement offer:

Insurance companies tend to “low-ball” the first offer preying on desperation 

First, it is common for the first offer to be a “low-ball” offer. Insurance carriers are in the business of making money off of insurance premiums. This means that they do not pay out more money than they have to. If they can “get away with” offering a low dollar amount in settlement, the insurance companies will do so. Insurance companies know that some accident victims are desperate for money. Medical bills may be piling up and there may be other hardships. Thus, insurance companies can “prey” on that desperation.

You may be leaving money on the table 

Another reason to not take the first offer is that you may be short-changing yourself. Settlement offers are based on all the medical bills, estimates of repair or replacement costs for damaged property and evidence of lost wages/income. But, what about pain and suffering? Does the settlement offer include compensation for that? Further, have ALL of the medical bills been received? Has the ambulance invoice arrived? If you settle, then you cannot go back to the insurance company for more money if another medical invoice arrives in the mail. Consider also the possibility of future medical bills from latent or undiagnosed complications from the injuries suffered. These are among the important reasons to wait — at least for a while — before accepting the insurance company’s settlement offer. Some medical complications do not immediately manifest. As noted, if you settle, you cannot go back for more.

It can be cost effective to hire an experienced Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer

Sometimes, accident victims want to take the first settlement offer to avoid hiring a lawyer (who will charge legal fees). But, here again, you may be leaving money on the table even when considering potential attorneys’ fees. For example, maybe the insurance company adjuster is offering a “low-ball” settlement because, according to the adjustor, the “evidence is not clear.” But good personal injury lawyers can find the evidence to show clear liability. If you can maximize the settlement, you can end up with more settlement money even after paying legal fees.  The Personal Injury Attorneys at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick do not charge any fee unless you get paid!

Our Attorneys Can Help

For more information, contact the Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have a proven track record of success handling many types of Louisiana personal injury cases including car accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability accidents, and cases involving nursing care facility abuse/neglect. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.