First Settlement Offered
If you’re negotiating a personal injury settlement claim with an insurance company and you’ve been offered a low initial settlement, you need to follow proper procedures to make a counteroffer.
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What If I Am Not Happy With The First Settlement Offer?
If you’re negotiating a personal injury settlement claim with an insurance company and you’ve been offered a low initial settlement, you need to follow proper procedures to make a counteroffer. There’s usually no specific time limit while receiving the settlement offer. Some claimants receive offers early, whereas others need to wait for several weeks. As a claimant, you cannot reject an offer unless one is made. Thus, the timing of your rejection and counteroffer completely depends on how long the insurance company takes to evaluate your claim.
Initial Settlement Offer
In a personal injury case, if the initial settlement offer is low, do not get disheartened. There could be multiple reasons why you receive a lowball offer. The claims adjuster may have concluded that your injuries were not as serious as stated by you. It’s also important to remember that insurance companies are in the business of making profits. When an insurance company makes a low settlement offer, they have nothing to lose. But if you think that the initial offer is not fair, it’s best to reject it.
The insurance claims adjuster does not always expect you to accept the initial settlement but hopes that you will. Naive personal injury claimants often end up accepting a lowball offer.
Parties Represented by Personal Injury Lawyer Receive 3.5 Times More Money Than Those Without an Attorney.
– Insurance Research Council Study 2004
3 Important Factors To Consider Before Accepting An Offer
Before you accept your initial settlement, it’s important to consider three important factors:
1- If there’s the possibility of long-term treatment or future surgeries, your compensation should ideally cover these.
2- After an accident, you may miss many days of work. Also, consider the future impact your injuries will have on your ability to work.
3- Non-economic damage you may experience such as mental turmoil, strained family relations, pain and suffering, and lower quality of life.
Tips To Handle A Lowball Settlement Offer
It’s always wise to expect your first settlement offer to be unreasonably low. Here are a few tips to tackle a lowball settlement:
1- To start with, make sure that you are patient. If you are not happy with the initial offer, refer to any evidence that supports your claim.
2- The most crucial step after a low settlement offer is to address in writing every point you wish to counter. If your arguments are validated through adequate documentation, your case will become stronger. A low settlement offer could be the result of insufficient evidence regarding the severity and extent of your injuries.
3- Make sure that the insurance company has all the latest copies of your medical bills, test results, pharmacy receipts, and other documents that support your claim.
4- While negotiating with an insurance company, do not forget to emphasize the strongest parts of your claim.
Seek The Assistance Of An Attorney After A Lowball Settlement
If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence and unhappy with the initial settlement offer, you need to take your case directly to a personal injury attorney. Such solicitors routinely handle lowball settlement claims and also have experience negotiating with insurance companies.
A proficient personal injury lawyer will launch an independent investigation into the accident, determine who was at fault, and find out how you were injured. They will also scrutinize the evidence and witnesses on your behalf. Seek the assistance of personal injury attorneys who are skilled negotiators and have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to get the compensation you need.
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