If you were injured in a motorcycle collision in New Mexico, you might be surprised to receive a settlement offer from the insurance company soon after you file your claim. It may be tempting to accept their offer if you need the money and want to resolve your case quickly to move on with your life. However, it is rarely in your best interests to accept the first offer that the insurance adjuster makes.
Why the Insurance Company May Offer You a Quick Settlement
The real reason the insurance adjuster may want to settle your claim quickly is to save the insurance company money by settling your claim for less than you deserve. They want you to accept their offer before you know the full extent of your injuries and speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can tell you how much your claim is really worth.
Reasons Not to Accept the First Offer You Receive
You are entitled to recover compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering from the negligent driver and their insurance company under New Mexico law. Here are some of the reasons it would be a bad idea to settle your claim too quickly:
#1: You Don’t Know How Serious Your Injuries Are
First, you should not accept a quick settlement because you can’t know how serious your injuries are or the medical treatments you will need right after the motorcycle accident. You should wait until you reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI) to settle your claim. This is the stage in your treatment when you have fully recovered or recovered as much as possible, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis.
You cannot know the cost of your future medical care or how your injuries will impact your ability to work until you reach your MMI. It could take months or more than a year to reach this stage of your medical recovery, especially if you suffered a long-term injury or multiple injuries.
#2: The Offer Is Too Low
The insurance company’s first offer will most likely be for much less than the total value of your claim. They hope you are desperate to settle your claim, even if it is for far less compensation than you deserve.
#3: Settlements Are Final
Once you reach a settlement with the insurance company, they will send you a release of all claims form to sign before they mail you your check. When you sign the release, you agree that this is a final settlement of your claim. You would be unable to reopen your claim later to request more compensation if you discover that your injuries are more severe than you thought or that you can no longer work.
What You Should Do if You’re Offered a Quick Settlement
You should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with a lawyer. You should retain an attorney immediately if you do not have one and leave negotiating your settlement to them.
The insurance company could send you a check before you agree to settle your case. Do not cash the check. You could give up your right to pursue your right to seek all the damages you are entitled to under New Mexico law.
Were you or a loved one injured in a motorcycle accident in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico? Our experienced personal injury lawyers can explain your rights, collect the evidence you need to win your case, and go up against the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement. Call our Roswell office at (575) 300-4000 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today to learn about our track record of success in motorcycle crash cases and how we can assist you.