What should I do if the insurance company offers me a check right away?
If you’re injured and an insurance company for the at-fault party offers you a check right away, the first thing you should do is not commit yourself and obtain the advice of competent counsel as soon as you can. This is because there are several questions that you’ll have that you need answered before you can accept a check. Every check comes concurrently with a release that they want you to sign. That release might be having you release not only the at-fault party, but the employer of the at-fault party or other people who you never believed you would be releasing and signing release. You don’t know if that check is per policy limits. You might not know what policy limits are. You might not know the extent of your injuries and whether or not the check is enough to compensate you. In addition, if it’s an auto case and you’re accepting that check, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you are statutorily obligated to get permission from your own insurance company before you can accept that check.
So the best thing for you to do if the insurance company comes to the hospital and provides you with a check right then and there is to defer, seek advice of counsel, and then act accordingly.