Q: I'm getting lowballed by an insurance company -- can I take what they offer now and still ask for more?
A: Usually, as part of any settlement, the insurance company requires that the claimant sign a release forever giving up all claims related to the given incident. If, in your case, the insurance company will ask you to sign a release, then you will never be able to make any additional claims for any additional compensation in the future. It would be very unusual for the insurance company to pay you money and not to require that a release be signed, thus keeping your claim open. But you should ask whether you will be required to sign a full & final release or whether the insurance company is willing to keep the claim open.
A: It sounds like you have been presented with a bodily injury settlement on behalf of the at fault driver's insurance company. No, you cannot take a settlement and then seek more at a later time. The reason is that the insurance company will have you sign a release as part of the settlement process that will cover a lot of ground, including that you have agreed to a full, final and complete resolution of your claim and case. If the offer is inadequate, your options include filing a lawsuit in the proper court.
A: Absolutely not. If you are dissatisfied with the offer being made to you your only option is to decline it. You cannot accept some and ask for more later. Any settlement would be a full and final foreclosure of all of your claims. My urgent advice to you is to immediately consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. A seasoned attorney can give you guidance on the appropriate value of your case and your likelihood of success should you choose to go into litigation. Best of luck.
A: First, you need to step back and wonder why you are doing this yourself. You have a situation where you may have obligations to repay medical if not paid by your insurance, where you may have to pay short term disability if they paid, and at the same time you are proceeding to wonder if you get to go for more later. Get a consult from a member of the Maryland Assn for Justice--they give free consults. Understand that what your case is worth depends most (after who is at fault) on what the records do--and do not say, who wrote them (specialist vs GP), how long treatment lasted,your continuing impairments. It's really not good to represent yourself.
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