Sustaining a personal injury after an accident is already stressful enough, but it can be even worse when you try to get an insurance settlement, but it ends up being unfair. After a terrible experience that leaves you injured, you deserve to get a settlement offer that is fair and fully compensates you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages you’ve suffered. Unfortunately, insurance companies commonly pull tactics that involve lowball offers.
How Should an Insurance Claim Work?
If you have gotten into a car accident and the other driver was at fault, you should immediately exchange full names, contact information, driver’s license and license plate numbers, and insurance information right at the scene. This ensures that you are able to file a claim against the other party’s insurance company. You need to do this as soon as possible so you can get a settlement offer once you have estimates for your damages.
The insurance company should provide you with a settlement that allows you to pay for all of your out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. However, it’s common for insurers to try and cheat you by offering an amount that is considerably less than what you deserve and that is insufficient to cover all the costs.
Insurance Settlements Are Negotiations
One thing to keep in mind about insurance settlement offers is that they are negotiations on the part of the insurer. As a result, if you think an offer is too low to cover all of your accident-related expenses, you have the legal right to decline it.
You are not under any obligation to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company that you know is too low. Unfortunately, the goal of insurance companies is to pay out the lowest settlement amount possible. They may press and push for you to accept, but you don’t have to do that.
However, you should also never deal with the insurance company by yourself if you have no legal background or knowledge. The wise step to take is to find an attorney who can help you and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Lawyers know all the tricks insurers try to pull and know how to maneuver around them. In some cases, the insurer won’t even try those tactics with an attorney.
What Should You Do After an Unsatisfactory Settlement Offer?
There are certain steps you should take after getting a first settlement offer from the insurance company that is unsatisfactory. They include the following options.
Contact an Attorney
Again, you must consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. It’s even better to speak with one before you have spoken with a representative from the insurance company.
Determine Your Necessary Compensation
You can get help from your attorney to determine the compensation amount you will need to cover your damages. This includes both economic and non-economic damages.
Know the Lowest Amount You’d Accept
Once you can begin to negotiate with the insurer, you should have an amount in mind that represents the lowest you would be willing to accept. Your lawyer can explain to you what’s fair.
Ask for the Driver’s Policy Limit
Your attorney will ask for the at-fault driver’s policy limit. A settlement amount greater than the limit will not be offered or accepted, but it gives an idea of knowing how much you can receive.
Reject Unacceptable Offers and Make Counter-Offers
If the insurance company continues to make settlement offers that are too low, your attorney can reject them and make a counter-offer.
Choose Whether To Go to Court
Finally, if you are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement on a settlement, you can decide to take the case to court to sue for an amount that’s acceptable.
What if You Have To Wait Too Long for Your Settlement?
Unfortunately, once you have settled your case, it can take some time before you see the money. This can be a problem if you have an immediate, pressing issue of paying for medical bills or having enough money to pay for your regular living expenses. However, there is an option available to you: you may be able to get a loan.
According to Atlanta personal injury finance funding, you can get a personal injury loan that is actually a portion of what you are due in your settlement. As a result, you don’t have to pay it back. You simply receive a percentage of the money you are due so you can use it toward immediate expenses.
However, this option isn’t for everyone. The amount you receive is smaller, usually anywhere from $500 to $50,000. Speak with your lawyer to learn everything possible about your options.