I was contacted by a guy who was injured in a car accident in the fall of 2018. He ended up needing a couple of months of physical therapy and had a lot of medical bills. He hired the Chicago auto accident law firm I recommended and the attorney started working on the case.
It was a clear cut case as the client was hit by someone clearly at fault. They were insured by Progressive, but it could have been any State Farm, Allstate or any of them. What happened next is the insurance company called this young man an offered to send him a check for his expenses. They will typically FedEx a check or sometimes even come to an accident site and hand you a check.
It sounds great in theory, but in reality it’s a strategy by insurance companies to cut their losses. They are experts in analyzing what a case is worth and doing it quickly based on the damage to your car or your obvious injuries. So if they think that they will have to pay you $100,000.00, they’ll gladly hand you a check for $7,500.00 right away. They have nothing to lose by offering and everything to gain.
I get why people take the quick money. It’s there and if you are broke it seems like a good idea. But in this case and almost every other time I’ve seen it, it’s the insurance companies screwing over a victim who doesn’t have the chance to consult with an attorney and make an educated decision.
Just know a few things:
- Insurance companies don’t do things that are in your best interests, they look out for their bottom line. If they are rushing to give you money you can bet that not only would they do it in a week or month as well, but also that your case is worth much more.
- If they send you a check, call a lawyer before you cash it. It’s free to do that (you can call us any time at 312-346-5320) and it will give you the chance to find out if you are being taken advantage of or not.
- If you need or think you will need any more medical care, settling is a terrible idea. Unless they are paying out the entire value of an insurance policy, your case will almost certainly be worth more.
I hope this is helpful and hope you aren’t reading this after it’s too late. Once you cash that check you are likely out of luck.