Do You Have to Accept a Truck Accident Settlement?
If you’ve recently been in a truck accident, you’ve almost undoubtedly already received a settlement offer from an insurance company, promising direct compensation in exchange for you waiving all rights to sue or otherwise press for money. However, despite how insurance adjusters may try to spin it, you don’t have to accept a settlement offer, and in reality, rarely should, at least not right away.
Why You Should Wait
It’s always in your best interest to be patient when considering a settlement offer after a truck accident, due to an array of factors:
- Undervalued offers: Most motorists don’t want to deal with the hassle of the claims process after a truck accident, and would much rather get things over with so that they can get their money. Insurance adjusters, knowing this, will intentionally offer quick, easy, yet undervalued settlements since many people will accept the first thing available to them without a second thought. This is made worse by the fact that it’s difficult to know a truck accident claim’s value without legal experience, making it impossible to evaluate the fairness of an offer on your own.
- Delayed-onset injuries: Once you accept a settlement, you’re generally barred from seeking further compensation. This remains the case if you realize days or weeks down the line that you have delayed-onset injuries of some kind, which could leave you with no way to recover for future medical bills and pain and suffering damages.
- Complex investigations: Truck accidents have considerably more information to take into account, between black box data, company policies, maintenance schedules, and third-party records. For this reason, the truck accident investigation process can take a considerable amount of time. If you rashly accept a settlement before you have all the information available to you, you might miss out on the majority of your potential compensation.
- High claim values: The average truck accident settlement is significantly larger than in any other crash, which makes it all the more important to safeguard your settlement from pure comparative fault. Under this system, you’ll lose compensation in direct proportion to your level of liability, hence it’s in your best interest to build the strongest case possible, lest you lose out on thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
- Freedom to negotiate: Even if you decline a settlement offer, you’re free to negotiate for a better deal, which will usually be successful with the help of an attorney. Insurance companies know that court is expensive, so it’s in their best interest to try and settle with you, even if they have to shell out more money than they’d otherwise like to.
Take your time. Arizona’s statute of limitations for truck accidents is a full two years, giving you plenty of opportunities to wait and see how much your claim is worth and whether or not you’ll need extra compensation. A lawyer can help expedite this process somewhat, advising you on when it’s safe to accept a settlement or not.
Arizona Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
It’s always in your best interest to talk to a truck accident attorney before accepting or declining any settlement offer, as their specialized experience is invaluable in determining the overall worth of your claim. If you’ve been hurt in an Arizona truck accident, be sure to give ELG a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a local, specialized lawyer who can help you through these trying times, answering any questions you might have along the way.