What if You Receive a Lowball Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
Despite what you hear in their TV commercials and other types of marketing, insurance companies are not on your side. They are businesses and they need to make money, which means they cannot always provide fair compensation when claims are filed.
Insurance adjusters are looking for any way to devalue or even deny claims. That is why they often question accident victims’ credibility or claim the victim is at fault.
If you are offered a settlement early in the process, it is likely to be for far less than your claim may be worth. The insurance company is hoping you will accept the offer because you are desperate for compensation and unsure of the value of your damages.
Below, learn more about what to do after receiving a lowball settlement offer. Our Austin-based auto accident lawyers are prepared to review your situation in a free consultation. If you hire us, there are no upfront fees. We are not paid unless you get paid.
Steps to Take After a Lowball Settlement Offer
You do not have to accept the insurance company’s first offer. In fact, the first offer is often just the starting point for negotiations.
The insurance company may tell you this is the best offer you are going to get and they will not offer more compensation. However, if you work with an attorney, the insurance company is more likely to take your claim seriously and make other offers.
Call a Lawyer
Generally, accident victims who work with a lawyer recover more compensation than those who do not. This is particularly true when the victim suffered significant injuries.
In a free consultation, a lawyer can determine if you have a valid claim and whether the initial offer is anywhere close to what your claim may be worth.
Determine the Value of Your Claim
Your lawyer can work with you to calculate the value of the damages you suffered. This includes the value of lost wages, past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
This can be difficult to do on your own, as you attend doctor’s appointments and deal with other problems caused by this situation.
Continue Your Medical Treatment
This is of paramount importance during the claims process. If you stop going to appointments or following through with your treatment, the insurance company may use that as a reason to devalue your claim. You also do not want to allow your injuries to worsen.
You may be struggling to pay for the treatment you need, as you will not receive compensation until the end of the claims process, which may take several months or longer.
However, there are a variety of options for injury victims who are struggling to pay medical bills while their claim is being negotiated. For example, you may be able to reach a deal with your medical provider to halt collection efforts until a settlement is reached. You may also be able to work out a payment plan that you can afford.
Allow Your Attorney to Negotiate
An experienced attorney should be able to manage the legal process on your behalf. This includes dealing with the insurance company, investigating, building a case and negotiating for compensation. Your attorney should keep you informed throughout the process and review settlement offers and counter offers with you.
Take the Case to Court if Necessary
Injury victims are often nervous about contacting an attorney because they do not want to have to go to trial. However, most of the time, cases are settled out of court.
That said, it is important to hire an attorney who is prepared to go to court. Insurance companies know the attorneys who never go to court, and they may be less likely to offer fair compensation to these attorneys. However, if an attorney regularly takes cases to court, insurance companies know they may need to offer more compensation.
Sometimes all it takes is filing a lawsuit to get the insurance company to make a better offer. You might get to the point where your attorney is preparing for trial and the insurance company calls with a settlement offer.
Call Today for Assistance with Your Claim
If you were injured in a crash and unsure of what to do next, call our firm to schedule a free consultation. Lorenz & Lorenz has obtained compensation for countless car crash victims in Texas and we are ready to help you.
We work on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees for our services.