Did I End Negotiations by Verbally Accepting the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on July 6, 2021 and updated on March 15, 2022.

woman having difficult phone callThis is a difficult question to answer, as some verbal agreements may be binding while others might not be. It is important to note that if a settlement offer is binding, you may have lost the right to negotiate for more compensation or file a lawsuit over your crash.

One of the most important steps you can take is to contact a lawyer before having any more conversations with the insurance company. An experienced lawyer can help determine if you may still be able to negotiate and he or she may be able to negotiate on your behalf.

The bottom line is: if you have yet to sign anything, you may still be able to negotiate for more compensation. You should strongly consider meeting with a Maryland car crash attorney. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl have extensive legal knowledge and are committed to doing what is in your best interests.

Schedule a free legal consultation today. We are here to help. 410-297-0343

Is a Verbal Agreement Binding?

It might be, depending on the details of the agreement. Generally, a verbal agreement could be enforced if there was an offer, acceptance of the offer and consideration, which refers to the value exchanged between both parties.

However, either party may be able to challenge a verbal agreement in court. If you verbally agreed to a settlement with a car insurance company, it raises the question of whether the insurance company would defend this in court if challenged.

Typically, verbal acceptance of a settlement offer would occur over the phone. Insurance companies often call crash victims and make settlement offers that are far below the full value of a claim. If a victim accepts a settlement offer in person, such as at an insurance company office, he or she is likely to sign it soon after.

You may be thinking the insurance company may have difficulty proving a phone conversation. However, if you accepted a settlement offer, they most likely wrote this down. Insurance companies often ask to record conversations about a car crash claim, so they could use this recording to try to enforce the terms of the settlement.

Emails or text messages about a settlement could also go a long way in allowing an insurance company to enforce a verbal settlement agreement.

Can I Rescind the Offer?

You may be able to rescind the offer and negotiate for more compensation. However, you should try to do this soon after giving verbal acceptance of the offer. The insurance company may try to use a delay against you if the settlement agreement is challenged in court.

It is important to discuss this issue with a licensed attorney as he or she should be able to advise you on how to rescind your acceptance of the offer. If you formally rescind the offer your lawyer may be able to negotiate for full compensation on your behalf.

Signing a Settlement Offer Likely Ends the Claim

It is very difficult to get out of a signed settlement offer. You would need to prove the insurance company committed some type of fraud or coerced you into signing. This would be very difficult to do, and the burden of proof would probably fall on you. If signed contracts cannot hold up, it would be very difficult for business to be conducted.

Once you sign a settlement, you have not only agreed to accept the compensation the insurance company is offering. You have also agreed to release the insurance company from any future liability for damages from the accident. That means you could not file another claim over the same accident to seek more compensation.

You may be wondering: What happens if my injury gets worse or I suffer complications?

Unfortunately, you would still be unable to seek more compensation from the insurance company. If another party bears some amount of fault for the crash, you may be able to file a claim against them. However, this is a different claim from the one you settled. You would only be able to obtain compensation for this other party’s percentage of fault in your accident.

That is why it is so important to make sure a settlement offer provides full compensation. Those who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not.

Initial Settlement Offers Are Often Too Low

The first settlement offer from the insurance company is often much too small to cover all your damages. The insurance company is hoping you will just accept it and move on. They know it is difficult to determine the full value of a claim so early in the process, and they know victims do not have the time to fully assess their damages.

Need Help After a Car Crash? Call The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl

We know crash victims often have many questions about what to do following a crash and how much compensation may be available. For more than three decades, our firm has been helping victims of crashes and other situations caused by negligence. In that time, we have secured millions in compensation on their behalf.

Schedule a free consultation to get answers to your questions and learn more about how we may be able to assist you. We work on contingency, which means no upfront fees and no risks to you.

There are no upfront fees or obligations. Call 410-907-3957.