Do Not Accept an Early Offer from an Auto Insurance Company

08 March 2023
Emily Bush
Do Not Accept an Early Offer from an Auto Insurance Company

The time period immediately following a car accident can be extremely stressful and car insurance adjusters know this. Here are some of the questions you may ask after being injured in a car accident:

  • Where am I going to seek treatment for my injuries?
  • How much work am I going to have to miss?
  • When am I going to get my car fixed?

Insurance companies understand that in the days following a car accident, you may have some financial concerns. One way that insurance adjusters can try to take advantage of your stress is by tendering an “early offer” to settle your bodily injury claim.

What is an Early Offer?

Commonly, an early offer from an insurance company will include an offer to pay an initial lump sum of money and the promise to pay off medical bills you have already accrued, as well as future medical bills, up to a specific amount.

An early offer can come from the insurance company of the driver found at-fault for the accident, but if the driver that caused the accident was uninsured, the early offer could come from YOUR insurance company. Read more here about being injured by an uninsured driver.

It is important to understand that an early offer can be tendered either in writing or verbally, over the phone. While it is possible that arguments can be raised as to the validity of a verbal agreement to accept an early offer, it is important to aware of this tactic.

Sample language of an early offer could look or sound like: “You have agreed to accept $1,000.00 for general damages, including pain and suffering, to be paid directly to you. You will also be able to submit future medical expenses to be paid, up to $5,000.00.”

Sometimes, an early offer comes with a time-limit to accept the offer or it will expire, which can make an injured person feel pressured into accepting the offer.

Why is Accepting an Early Offer a Bad Idea?

As illustrated by its name, an early offer can be made to you within days after you are injured. Some symptoms of many common injuries that arise out of car accidents may not fully reveal themselves until after the first few days. Initial diagnostic tests done at hospital emergency departments don’t always reveal the full extent of your injuries. If your pain progressively gets worse and ultimately requires expensive medical treatment, but you already accepted an early offer, you may be stuck covering the majority of your medical bills out of your own pocket.

Before you sign a document sent to you from an insurance company or verbally agree to a settlement offer, call our office for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. It is our job to help you understand your rights so you are able to make an informed decision. Call and speak to one of our attorneys today!

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