What’s the best way to deal with a low settlement offer from a liable party? It’s one thing is to get into a car accident, and another to get treatment for injuries, and a third is to repair your damaged car and replace other personal properties. All these cost money, leading to the commencement of an insurance claim for damages.
As the accident victim, you want the fault party’s insurance provider to compensate you for your losses. You expect them to pay your economic damages to the last dollar and give you fair compensation for non-economic damages. All these mean that you desire fair or maximum settlement.
But things don’t always work out this way. Whether justified or unjustified, the fault driver’s insurance carrier can reject your claim. When they accept it, they tend to make a low settlement offer, offering you compensation that cannot cover your expenses.
When this happens, you need to know how to respond and what to do after. Getting an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial at this point. An attorney will handle the rest of the claims process for you.
Why Do Insurance Companies Make Low Settlement Offers?
It is a known fact that insurance companies always want to protect their bottom line. Their priority is protecting their interest margin, and they can’t do this if they pay out every compensation claim. This explains why they either refuse to pay or pay very low amounts.
When an insurance company acts this way, it is referred to as “bad-faith insurance.” However, there are times when a low settlement offer is justifiable. One of such instances is when the insurance adjuster does not have all the necessary information. The latter includes details of medical bills and records of other damages.
Thus, you must provide the insurance adjuster all the necessary receipts for money spent. While the adjuster is carrying out their investigation, assist them as best you can and provide all requested information. Another reason for a low settlement offer is if your injuries were not very severe or you had minor property damage. Unexplained medical gaps will also impact how much you get.
How Do You Respond to a Low Settlement Offer?
If you find yourself at the receiving end of a low settlement offer, there are steps to ensure that you get what you deserve. Here are some of them:
Stay Calm and Analyze the Offer
Every person would get furious when they receive a low settlement offer. After the trauma of the accident and all you had to endure, the insurance company still didn’t pay you what you deserve. But this is not the time to get angry; rather, stay calm and analyze the offer.
Look at the amount offered and the reasons for the sum. Understand where the insurance company is coming from and the reasons that informed their decision. If the low settlement offer is the first, then it might be that the insurance company is just setting the stage for negotiations. But if it is the final offer, then you have to do the next step.
Ask Questions and Present the Facts
After analyzing the offer, ask questions. Find out from the adjuster why they made the low settlement offer. Ask them to break down how they made the offer based on the information they have. If they try to brush it off, don’t stand for it; the adjuster owes you an explanation for their decision.
Next, present the fact by showing documentation of evidence gathered from the accident. All this includes your medical bills, property damage, and other valuable evidence. The more proof you have, the easier it would be to prove your claim.
Make a Counter Offer and Respond in Writing
Once you carry out the above steps, you have to develop a counter-offer. The counter-offer is the amount you think you should get. You should consider the fault party’s insurance policy limit and how much you can get.
Next, write a letter to the insurance company. If you have an attorney, they can help you draft one. In it, explain why you disagree with their offer, and add any additional information you think would help your claim.
Don’t Settle Until You Heal Completely
You cannot back out of a settlement offer once you’ve accepted it; it is binding. For this reason, avoid settling until you heal completely. This way, you have all the information you need and will get what’s due to you.
Let Pinder Plotkin, LLC, Get You the Right Compensation
At Pinder Plotkin, LLC, we have a team of experienced attorneys who will ensure you do not walk away with a low settlement offer. We will get you what you deserve if you let us work on your case. Contact us today for a free case review.