Imagine you were just in a car accident, you are injured, and have gone to the emergency room. You are at home sore, in pain, and you get a call from the adjuster. You inform the adjuster that you are not ready to discuss settlement yet because you want to see how you feel in a few days. The adjuster begins to talk about some money that is “yours to use for whatever you like.” She comes up with a figure and mails you a check before you can even accept. As you look at the check you remember you have bills that need to be paid, so you cash the check. The adjuster failed to tell you that the check was a settlement check. Yes, she didn’t use the word settlement because if she did you would have definitely asked for more.
Too many people fall for this trick. When an adjuster from an opposing insurance is offering you money (and your property damage has been taken care of) it is for the settlement of your personal injury. Once you cash the check or sign a release, your case is over. The fact that you feel duped doesn’t change that your case is over. Before you even begin to discuss money with an insurance adjuster get legal advice.