When Trying To Handle Your Own Personal Injury Claim Goes Bad

Grady Flattmann
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Local Covington, Louisiana attorney focusing 100% on personal injury matters.

When I think of horror stories, ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night ARE NOT what come to mind.  Instead, I get goosebumps thinking about things like insufficient insurance coverage and the repercussions of accepting a “quick settlement check.”   

A potential client called my office the other day.  She had been in a car accident and had a great deal of neck pain radiating into her shoulders and down her left arm.  After the wreck, she had been taken to the hospital and for the past week, has been waking up in the middle of the night with pain and headaches.  We scheduled a meeting to talk about her case. 

The night before our meeting I received an email from her.  State Farm was offering her $1,800 for her personal injury claim, up from $800 just two days before.  They were giving her 24 hours to accept.  She asked me if this was a good deal.  The quick settlement State Farm was offering was bait and she was thinking about biting.  Even though it was 8 PM on a Friday, I immediately called her. 

A Quick Settlement Is A Bad Idea For Many Reasons.

First, the bills for the ambulance and hospital had not come in yet, so we had no idea as to her past medical expenses, which could easily be over $5,000 alone. 

Second, she was in pain and had no idea what the future held in terms of her injuries and treatment.  Her headaches weren’t getting better and the pain in her shoulder and neck was only getting worse.  She was scheduled to be seen by an orthopedist and neurologist the next week.  NO WAY should she settle without fully understanding what the future held for her.  Her car wreck claim was only going to get larger, and State Farm knew that. 

Third, at the time of the accident, she was “on the job” going from one client’s house to another.  Therefore, her company had already submitted a worker’s compensation claim with their own insurance company.  Had they already paid the hospital?  Had they contributed to paying her for the several days she was out following the accident?  Were they going to seek reimbursement from her for any money they paid as a result of the wreck?  By accepting a quick settlement check, this lady was going to be left owing more money than she would receive.  

After our conversation, she understood perfectly, what State Farm was trying to bait her into doing.  Instead, we carefully mapped out a plan for her to receive the medical attention she needed while simultaneously making sure we documented each and every penny the medical providers and her worker’s compensation insurer would be seeking. 

So, why do insurance companies offer “quick checks?”  Let’s do a quick calculation.  Take 100 car wreck claims, valued at $10,000 each.  If an insurance company succeeds in getting even 10% of those claimants to accept a quick $1,000 check, they save $90,000 almost instantly!  Why not go fishing with cheap bait?   

The prospect of a quick settlement is also appealing to those who “just want to get this over with.”  But again, the path is filled with landmines and other traps. 

Have You Been Injured In A Covington Area Car Wreck And The Insurance Company Is Offering You A Quick Check?

If you've been hurt in a car wreck and the insurance company is offering you a quick check contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.