It’s never easy to know if an insurance company’s offer is fair, especially if you’re trying to navigate the legal world on your own.
While insurance companies can provide peace of mind by protecting people and their property in the event of a car accident, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to give victims as much money as their claims are worth. for bodily injury. Insurers will often try to pay as little as possible, even if it is to the detriment of the victim’s health and well-being.
However, it is not always easy to know whether the bodily claim settlement offer is fair or whether there is room for negotiation. Below, you can learn more about how insurance companies calculate their costs and why hiring an attorney to speak with them on your behalf might be worthwhile.
The value of your damage
When you meet with an auto accident attorney to discuss filing a personal injury claim, they will review the facts of the case and calculate the value of your damages. These damages typically include medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and any other related costs that you had to cover out of your own pocket due to someone else’s negligence or bad intentions. on the road.
When an insurance company calculates an offer to settle the case, they usually take into account the costs for which you have provided information. This figure is part of the offer they make to you or your lawyer.
The costs of defending your claim
It may take time for an insurance company to respond to the letter of demand sent by the lawyer you have chosen. Sometimes this is because they need time to read your case information and determine the likely costs associated with defending your claim.
Generally, they take into account at least the fees of expert witnesses and legal representation. These costs can help them decide how much to offer you to settle the case and whether it’s worth settling or taking the case to court.
Any weakness in your case
When you line up with one of the best auto accident attorneys in the state, they will do their best to create a watertight case with solid, indisputable facts. However, not all personal injury claims are straightforward, and certain facets of your situation may weaken your case.
For example, there may be conflicting witness statements or you have a pre-existing medical condition that could make your injuries worse. You may even have admitted your fault at the scene, even though the accident was not your fault.
Insurance companies can identify any weakness, no matter how insignificant, and use it to offer you a lower offer than what your case is actually worth.
Your ability to fight
While this isn’t true in all cases, some insurance companies might look at your current position and know that you’ll likely accept the first offer that comes your way. You may have decided to proceed without legal representation, or your medical debts are crippling you financially.
If an insurance company knows you’re in no position to refuse an offer, they might be more likely to offer a small fee that saves them money but barely covers your accident-related costs. .
How to maximize the potential of your offer
Every case is different, but most auto accident attorneys seek to maximize your potential settlement offer to ensure that you are able to cover as many of your costs as possible. They do this in some of the following ways.
While you may have collected initial evidence at the scene, your chosen attorney can draw on a wide variety of resources to further bolster your case. They can help you secure medical records, accident scene video footage, witness statements, and more.
Depending on the seriousness of the case, they may even be able to call in expert witnesses to confirm the facts of your case and help a jury determine that the car accident victim deserves adequate compensation.
Do not accept the first offer
Although the primary goal of some lawyers is to settle quickly and win the case, this is not always in the best interests of the client. When trying to maximize the settlement amount to ensure the victim gets what they deserve, they often decline the initial offer from the insurance company.
In this situation, the insurance company has three choices. They can either accept the offer made by the lawyer, make a counter-offer, or allow a complaint to be filed and let the courts decide.
Beginning of negotiations
The first offer offered by an insurance company is rarely the best one, which is why some of the best car accident lawyers will enter into negotiations. Sometimes these negotiations can go back and forth over several weeks until a figure can be agreed. In rare cases, a figure cannot be decided and legal action is taken.
It’s never easy to know if an insurance company’s offer is fair, especially if you’re trying to navigate the legal world on your own. If you have been involved in a car accident, seek legal representation. You can then leave the negotiations in the safe hands of experts.