Insurance companies are profit-driven businesses that want to settle injury claims for the lowest amount possible. Each injury claim is unique and there is no one formula that can accurately determine what is a reasonable compensation amount. When insurance companies make an initial settlement offer,attorneys for insurance claims can analyze the case and help injured parties determine the amount of money that will fairly compensate them for medical expenses, lost wages, and possible emotional distress or degradation of their quality of life.
Reaching an appropriate settlement amount with the insurance company may take days or several months. The length of time depends on the details of the case, whether injuries cause short-term or long-term disability and the amount of money in question. Attorneys for insurance claims can handle negotiations with the insurance company and advise victims if the best approach is to file a lawsuit.
Low initial settlement offers
Claims adjusters are supposed to conduct a thorough investigation prior to making a settlement offer to victims. They may attempt to justify low offers by saying the injured person is partly at fault for the accident or the resulting injuries. They may also conclude that the injuries will not cause long-term disability or that claims of pain and suffering are unfounded.
In order to reject a low-ball settlement offer from an insurance company, injured parties need to send a letter to the claims adjuster stating that the initial offer is unacceptable. Accident victims should list the reasons why a higher settlement amount is warranted. They should also include a demand for a higher settlement offer.
Negotiating an accident settlement
Claims adjusters work in the best interest of the insurance companies. They want to settle a claim as quickly as possible and for the lowest possible amount of money. By doing so, they improve their standing with the insurance company. Negotiating may require going up the chain of command to the higher-ups who have more authority to make decisions about higher settlement amounts.
Reasonable initial settlement offers
Insurance companies do sometimes make initial settlement offers that are fair and reasonable. Accident victims should carefully consider all facts of the case and weigh the initial offer against the total amount of damages. Attorneys for insurance claims can help evaluate initial settlement offers.