What Should You Do When The Insurance Company Offers a Low Settlement?
While insurance companies are supposed to act in good faith, they are in business like everyone else. This explains why insurance principles like acting in utmost good faith are purely theoretical when claims are involved. Insurance companies are only interested in keeping a low claims ratio. They offer victims low settlement offers and use other tactics to maximize profitability.
You should never accept the settlement your insurance company offers you initially. While it may seem substantial, it’s usually way less than you deserve for your injuries or wrongful death claim.
How do insurance claims work?
After a car accident, drivers should exchange contacts and insurance information. This information is used to file an insurance claim against the insurance policy of the other driver. Even if you’ve done everything correctly from involving police to getting repair estimates and recording a statement, most insurance companies will still look for reasons to decline or underpay claims. The settlement offer you’ll receive will usually be less than what you deserve.
You should treat settlement offers as negotiations if you receive a low offer. Insurance companies may pressure you to take their first offer. Despite it being a negotiation, insurance companies don’t treat it as such. You have the right to demand more. Personal injury victims must be compensated accordingly for the injuries they suffer as well as other related costs.
I’ve gotten a low settlement offer. What should I do?
Call a personal injury lawyer immediately. You shouldn’t attempt to negotiate directly with insurance companies without legal help. If you’ve been handling your claim alone to this point, it’s time to seek professional help.
Experienced attorneys know how to calculate compensation accurately while considering everything (including non-economic damages). They’ll even include the future cost of your injuries as well as mental suffering. If you seek expert help, you’ll not leave anything out of your calculations.
Most importantly, you’ll be able to come up with a definite figure, including the lowest settlement offer you should accept when negotiating and the actual worth of your claim (maximum amount you’ll most likely receive for a case like yours).
Offers and counteroffers
In most cases, insurers refuse settlement amounts that go beyond the policy limit of the insured. However, such limits may be lower than what you deserve. Seasoned attorneys can find out the at-fault driver’s policy limit to understand the probability of obtaining the settlement you plan to ask for. Insurers aren’t obligated to volunteer policy limit information with claimants. If the settlement you deserve surpasses the policy limit of the at-fault driver and the insurer refuses to settle for amounts above this limit, your lawyer may advise you to go to court.
Low settlement offers must be rejected officially in writing. The response should address all aspects of an offer, including any findings. You should give a counteroffer using your calculations and support such an offer with clear arguments showing clearly why you deserve the requested amount.
When should you go to court?
If you send a counteroffer with concrete reasons that can be supported in a court, the insurance company may decide to settle even if what you are requesting is beyond the policy limit. It takes experienced personal injury attorneys to get such an outcome. Insurance companies don’t like going to court if they think they’ll lose the case and pay much more than what you are asking for. However, they may come up with several counteroffers before accepting. If the negotiations stall, your lawyer will advise you on whether to accept the final offer or proceed to court.
Dealing with insurance companies is a daunting task. Claimants shouldn’t attempt to engage insurers directly for reasons mentioned above. The need for seasoned lawyers can’t be overemphasized.
Hire experienced personal injury lawyers like Oberheiden Law that offer FREE consultations and low contingency fee. You’ll only pay if you win the case. What’s more – Oberheiden Law has personal injury lawyers whose specialty is getting high settlement offers. In fact, Oberheiden Law has secured over $60 billion in settlements for personal injury victims all over the US. Don’t gamble with your future!