Insurance companies didn’t become the profit giants they are by handing out huge sums of money to every person who files a claim. Even when they are clearly on the hook for extensive compensation, they will do everything in their power to minimize what they have to pay out when working to resolve their case. Sometimes they even send out embarrassingly low offers in hopes that a few people either don’t understand the value of their case or are in a hurry to put an end to their claim.
So what should you do if you receive a lowball offer from an insurance company after a personal injury claim? We explain how to respond to a low settlement offer in today’s blog.
Responding To A Lowball Settlement Offer
If you’re excited to find out that you have been offered a settlement only to be thoroughly underwhelmed by the amount the insurance company is offering, take a breath and follow these next steps.
Read The Offer Carefully – Your eyes may jump down to the offer amount and gloss over other pertinent information enclosed in the settlement offer, but it’s important to collect your thoughts, read through everything carefully and avoid making an emotional decision. Don’t call and cuss them out or send an angry email. Remember that this first offer is typically just a starting point in negotiations, and it’s based on their interpretation of the circumstances among other things. It is only one side of the story. You’ll get to lay out your side soon enough.
Reach Out To Your Lawyer – If you have a lawyer, make sure that they are aware of the offer and have a conversation about your next steps. Odds are they’ll be busy putting together a counteroffer based on tangible data that will be difficult to refute, and don’t be surprised if your counteroffer is much higher than what the insurance company offered. If you don’t have a lawyer, now is the time to take the free consultation and figure out how to counter the lowball offer.
Explain Your Counter In Detail – Don’t just ask for a large award sum without being about to back up your claim with financial data. Your lawyer will be able to look at your independent medical report, your paystubs and the long-term impact your injuries will have on your earnings potential in order to come up with a fair financial figure. If you can explain why you feel you’re entitled to a certain amount, it’s much more likely that your offer will be accepted or you’ll earn a much more favorable counteroffer from the other side.
Really Understand The Extent Of Your Injuries – It’s never a good idea to settle until you really understand the full impact of your injuries. You may be able to reopen your case down the road if there was a change to your health that couldn’t easily be foreseen, but if you’re expected to have some long-term neck discomfort and you accept an offer without understanding the financial impact this pain could have on your life, you’re going to regret signing that offer sheet. Work with your lawyer and your independent medical examiner to ensure you understand the true extent of your injuries and how that factors into the totality of your counteroffer to the insurance company.
Know That A Fair Settlement Often Takes Time – Reviews of personal injury statistics show that in general, cases that are resolved quickly often yield small sums and big paydays take time. Obviously there are a number of different factors in play here, but it’s helpful to accept the fact that it’s going to take some time to get the full compensation you deserve. Like we said above, insurance companies try to close your case as quickly and cheaply as possible, so if you show that you’re willing to take as long as needed to earn a fair outcome, they are more willing to hear your offer and respond with a better counter of their own. Show that you’re willing to go the distance to get what you deserve, and you’ll have the advantage over the insurance company.
For more tips on handling a low initial offer, or to speak with a lawyer who can help ensure you get everything you deserve with your claim, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today at (952) 230-2700.