if you are in a car accident or suffer another personal injury in Florida, you might wonder when you could expect a settlement offer from an insurance company. Severe injuries often result in high medical bills and could keep you out of work for days or weeks. When you should expect an offer of compensation depends on several factors, though it usually takes about 30 days. If your injuries are serious, it is prudent to consult with our Hallandale Beach personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement. Below, our experienced attorney from South Florida Law, PLLC looks at the timeline for insurance settlements.
How Long It Takes for an Offer of Compensation for General Insurance Claims vs. PIP Claims in Florida
Under Florida law, for a general insurance settlement, the insurance provider is required to investigate and decide whether to pay or deny a claim within a reasonable amount of time. If the claim is under a personal injury protection (PIP) policy, then the insurance company has thirty days to make a settlement offer or deny the claim. While “reasonable time” is not strictly defined, typically, it falls within thirty to sixty days. Therefore, if you are injured and have a valid insurance claim, you should anticipate a compensation order within a month or two.
Why You Should Wait Before Accepting an Early Compensation Offer in Florida
When someone is seriously injured in a Florida car accident or another incident caused by someone else’s negligence, they are entitled to seek compensation through an insurance settlement or by filing a civil lawsuit. Knowing which is the best way to proceed might not be immediately apparent. If you are incurring medical bills and your injury keeps you out of work, a fast settlement might appear to be a financial life preserver. However, insurance companies are not working for you and initial compensation offers tend to be artificially low. The insurance provider is often hoping that an offer that is presented promptly will also be promptly accepted. Therefore, it is critical to speak with our experienced Hollywood, FL personal injury lawyer before accepting any settlement.
Can I Reject an Insurance Offer and Still Receive Compensation?
It is vital to remember that you are not required to accept a compensation offer. Insurance settlements are not “now or never” situations. Rejecting an initial offer does not mean you will not receive compensation in the future. Our Aventura personal injury attorney knows that the initial offer is just the beginning of the process.
As stated above, an insurance company often offers a quick settlement to spend as little time and money on a claim. However, the thirty-day window in which you receive an offer is probably not enough time to fully understand the impact of a severe injury. At this point in your recovery, you might still require additional treatment, surgeries, and are unsure when you will be returning to work. It is almost impossible to fully appreciate what your claim could be worth or the financial and physical costs of your injury in such a short period. Quick compensation offers might appear to benefit the injured individual. However, they usually only help the insurance companies avoid larger payouts.
Disadvantages of Accepting a Quick Settlement Offer in Florida
A quick settlement might seem like a windfall at first, even if you believe it is lower than it should be. However, part of every insurance settlement is a release of liability. This means that once you accept the settlement offer, the insurance company is no longer legally liable for any additional payments outside the agreement’s scope. You are not permitted to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is even the case if your injuries turn out to be worse than expected, complications arise, or you just failed to realize the full value of your claim.
Having an experienced Florida personal injury attorney value your claim is vital in making an informed decision. Having worked on countless cases over the years, our personal injury lawyers in Miami understand that it typically takes a significant amount of time to know the full extent of your injuries after an accident. In addition to the injuries being more serious than first thought, other potential issues include wounds that fail to heal, unforeseen complications, and infections. A quick compensation offer will usually not cover additional medical treatment.
if your injuries persist longer than anticipated or are severely worse than first thought, you could find yourself out of work for months, years, or even a lifetime. If a compensation offer is made within thirty days, you can be assured that it does not account for years of lost wages.
Do Insurance Compensation Offers Cover All Damages for an Injury in Florida?
The total cost of an injury is typically more than your medical costs and out-of-pocket expenses. As seen above, even these costs are rarely covered in full if the injury is severe and complications thwart a person’s recovery. However, the impact of a severe injury is more than financial losses and medical expenses. A person suffers through physical pain and emotional anguish. An insurance compensation offer, no matter how quick, rarely provides any payments for the pain and suffering an injured person endures. However, our attorneys would seek these non-economic damages for you through a claim in civil court.
Call Our Florida Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
Our experienced Florida personal injury lawyers and staff at South Florida Law, PLLC understand the need for financial assistance if you are hurt, missing work, and facing medical expenses. While a quick insurance compensation offer is tempting, you should speak with our knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys before accepting any offer. You want to ensure your health and welfare for both the short and long-term. Without knowing the value of your claim, that might not be possible. Call our office at (954) 932-7877 and let us review your case during a free consultation.