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What Happens if You Don’t Accept the Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company?

Sign here, insurance settlement agreement

Navigating the aftermath of a car or truck accident can be a confusing and unsettling experience, especially when it comes to dealing with insurance companies. These companies often take an aggressive approach to resolving claims by making an offer early and using their years of training and experience to make you feel like their offer is fair and the best you will get. What if you don’t think that’s right and decline to accept their offer? What comes next? Below our Kingston personal injury attorneys explain the complexities and nuances of insurance company settlement offers, including the ramifications of refusing the offer. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck accident in Kingston, Ulster, or the Hudson Valley, contact Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, to speak with a skilled and experienced auto accident lawyer.

Understanding the Settlement Offer

Before delving into the consequences of not accepting an offer, it’s important to understand what a settlement is. A settlement offer is a proposal from the insurance company to pay you a certain amount of money to resolve your claim. This offer is typically presented after an accident and after the insurance company has evaluated the circumstances and your damages. Once accepted, you relinquish your claim against the other driver, even if you later find out that your injuries or expenses are more extensive than you initially thought.

Evaluating the Offer

The evaluation of a settlement offer should be a careful and informed process. The value of your claim can depend on various factors, such as the severity of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and the impact on your quality of life. Our attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, provide expert guidance in assessing these factors to ensure that any offer adequately compensates for your losses.

What Happens if You Decline the Settlement Offer?

  1. Negotiation Continues: Declining an initial offer doesn’t end the negotiation process. It can be the beginning of a back-and-forth negotiation to reach a more favorable settlement. Our experienced attorneys in Kingston are skilled in these negotiations, aiming to secure a settlement that truly reflects the extent of your damages and suffering. It is not uncommon for an insurance company’s initial offer to be far below what your claim is actually worth. This is particularly true if you have not yet secured legal representation when they make the offer.

  2. Preparation for Trial: If negotiations stall or if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, the next step may be to prepare for a trial. At Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, we have a strong record of representing clients in court, backed by thorough preparation and a deep understanding of personal injury law in New York.

  3. Mediation or Arbitration: Sometimes, a mediator or arbitrator can be brought in to help resolve the dispute. These are less formal settings than a trial, but they require the same level of preparation and legal expertise to effectively advocate for your interests.

  4. Potential for Higher Compensation: Declining an initial offer could lead to a higher settlement or a favorable verdict at trial. However, it’s essential to weigh this potential against the risks and costs of prolonged legal proceedings. No lawyer can guarantee success at trial, whereas accepting a settlement offer is a sure thing, even if you could conceivably get more from a jury.

  5. Time and Resources: Pursuing a higher settlement or going to trial can be time-consuming and may require additional resources. Our legal team at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, works diligently to balance these factors in the pursuit of justice for our clients.

Making an Informed Decision

The decision to accept or decline a settlement offer is a significant one. It requires a comprehensive understanding of your legal rights, the value of your claim, and the intricacies of personal injury law in New York. Our team at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, provides personalized guidance to each client, ensuring that you are fully informed and supported throughout this process.

Contact Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for Help Negotiating a Settlement of Your Car Accident Claim

Deciding whether to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company is a critical juncture in your personal injury claim. With the support of our knowledgeable attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, clients are empowered to make decisions that best serve their interests and well-being. If you’re facing this decision, contact us for a free consultation to explore your options and chart the best course forward in your personal injury case. Call our offices in Kingston (845-331-4100) and Marlboro (845-236-4411) for advice and representation from our skilled and dedicated legal team.

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