Sometimes, an injured person agrees to a settlement from an insurer only to regret that decision later. The person may have felt pressured by company representatives or may have worried that by not accepting the amount offered they would have received nothing. The individual may have been under financial stress and had a need for quick compensation. Auto accident lawyers in Charles County, MD provide advice on how to proceed under these circumstances.
Oral vs. Written Agreements
Generally, if someone has agreed to a settlement in writing, backing out of it is not allowed unless the insurer perpetrated some form of fraud. The signed agreement is a legal contract. However, if the person has so far only accepted the offer orally over the phone or in person, that agreement is not legally binding. The insurance company will not send a check without the claimant’s signature on a contract.
The Possibility of Fraud
Fraud by the insurer is extremely unlikely. However, insurance companies do use tactics injured persons consider questionable, such as hiring private investigators to follow the claimant and detail any activities that indicate an injury is not as bad as asserted. However, this is a legally allowed strategy intended to protect the insurer from claim fraud. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud reports that between 18% and 21% of personal injury claims have the appearance of some type of fraud by the claimant.
Determining Reasonable Compensation
Auto accident lawyers in Charles County, MD can offer a knowledgeable opinion about the settlement offer during an initial free consultation. The individual may believe the offer is too low, but it may turn out that the amount should actually be considered reasonable. Free consultations are available with organizations such as the Law Office of Danny R. Seidman.
For example, the insurer may be offering to pay all standard medical bills and lost wages but may be refusing to pay for acupuncture treatments. Many insurance companies do not include compensation for alternative treatments that are not specifically recommended by a conventional doctor in the Western medical tradition. They might pay a certain amount for chiropractic care in regard to back pain but may have restrictions on other types of alternative therapy.
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