After you’ve made an insurance claim, you may be excited when you receive a check in the mail. But hold on; not so fast. Before you bank that insurance check, find out the reasons why it’s not always the smart thing to do.
Cashing the Check May Waive Your Right to Further Compensation
Most insurance checks have a waiver notice pre-printed somewhere on the check. That waiver typically includes language that states that by cashing that check you waive your rights to future legal action and further compensation. Maybe you’re thinking, that’s okay. Especially if the check is enough to cover the damage to your vehicle or property. But think about it for a minute. What if the other driver involved in the accident decides to sue you before the statute of limitations expires? Would your insurance company pay that lawsuit? It doesn’t have to, if you cash that check. Or what if you find out a month from now that you sustained internal injuries that you didn’t realize until then? Accident injuries can sometimes take a long time to reveal themselves. Is your insurance company going to cover that claim if you cash this check? It’s unlikely.
Before cashing any insurance check, consult with an injury attorney in Los Angeles. Avoid signing the check, and, if possible, don’t tear the check away from the check stub. Retain the envelope, so you have a clear record of when the check was received. Doing these things will help to make it clear that you’re not necessarily interested in settling for that amount. You’ll be able to show the check, stub and envelope to your Los Angeles personal injury attorney so they can review it for their records.
You May Be Entitled to More Than the Check is For
Insurance companies will always attempt to pay you the minimum that they can possibly get away with. You may not realize it, but that check may be just a small percentage of what you’re truly entitled to. But if you sign and cash that check, that’s all you’re going to get, no matter what amount you should have received.
In order to protect yourself after an accident, consult with an injury attorney in Los Angeles before even considering cashing an insurance check. In fact, to be on the safe side, you should consult with your Los Angeles personal injury attorney before you even file an insurance claim. This is the best way you can be sure that you will receive compensation in the full amount that you’re entitled to.
Of course, if you have submitted an insurance claim and received a check from the insurance company, chances are that you’re eager to get the money from the claim. You probably have vehicle repairs to make, or medical bills to pay. Although the temptation will be great, it is worth your while to get the opinion of a personal injury attorney before cashing any check from an insurance company. If you can have a little patience, you may find that you are entitled to a much larger settlement amount.