You were injured in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence. You got better after receiving treatment. You followed the proper procedure and expected the insurance company to do the right thing and provide you with a fair settlement. The insurance company, to your surprise, comes with an offer that is not reasonable; instead, it was a mean settlement offer that went far below your expectation. So, what should you do if you receive a poor settlement offer?
Your natural reaction would be to react with rage and hostility. You didn’t do anything wrong, and all you want is for your medical costs to be reimbursed. However, responding emotionally is not the best way to respond to a poor settlement offer. So, how can you dispute the low settlement offer from your vehicle insurance company?
One of the most challenging elements of a personal injury claim is dealing with the insurance company. Even if you are successful in proving that someone else was liable for your accident and injuries, you may have to deal with a lowball settlement offer or put up with unscrupulous tactics from an insurance company for you to obtain a fair result.
To increase your chances of success in a personal injury claim, learn how to respond correctly to a low settlement offer.
Understand what an insurance company settlement offer means
First and foremost, understanding what a settlement offer means is essential. A settlement offer is a financial offer made by the insurance company in exchange for your agreement not to sue the person who caused your personal injury. In other words, an insurance company will give you money in return for a release of all claims against the negligent party, even if you’re yet to establish the full extent of your injuries. With a better understanding of this, you will be better positioned to respond to a low settlement offer.
When dealing with an insurance claims adjuster, remain courteous and professional, even if you think they are trying to take advantage of you or is using bad faith techniques. Getting enraged and retaliating against the adjuster will not help your case and may potentially jeopardize your chances of receiving appropriate compensation. Your anger could make you appear unprofessional as a witness, putting you at a disadvantage during settlement discussions. Instead, try to keep calm and courteous. You should get in touch with a personal injury attorney to engage the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
Respond in writing
You can call or email the insurance adjuster before drafting a formal response and ask any specific questions to find out the basis for the low initial offer. When writing your official response and counteroffer, the answers to these questions will serve as your guide.
The poor initial offer could be due to a lack of information regarding your injuries or other losses claimed. Provide the adjuster with itemized and updated medical bills, proof of lost income, and additional pertinent details if this is the case.
If you didn’t do so in your first demand letter, try to focus your response and counteroffer on the more subjective and emotive aspects of your case. The facts of the accident and your medical care were most likely adequately detailed in your original demand letter and may not need to be reiterated. For example, your surgery expenses and dates may have been covered, but the implications of your injury may not have been.
Therefore, your official follow-up communication should provide an opportunity to focus on non-economic losses such as “pain and suffering” and other emotional effects of what took place. Perhaps you can no longer enjoy your favourite pastime, such as outdoor sports. Emotional points will, of course, differ based on the circumstances.
Your personal injury attorney can help you come up with a counter offer for insurance companies
Once you’ve confirmed that the adjuster has all of your medical bills and supporting documents, write a short letter rejecting the settlement offer, offering a counteroffer. It’s critical to emphasize the agony and suffering you truly endured in a settlement counteroffer letter.
While your diagnosis will be recorded in your medical records, you will not be able to see what you went through daily. For example, did your injury limit you from your everyday undertakings, such as participating in your favourite sport or farming in your tiny kitchen garden? The adjuster should be put to task to consider these unknowns to evaluate your claim correctly.
Furthermore, the counteroffer response should well highlight the agony and suffering you endured. You should include a settlement counteroffer figure in your letter that you are ready to accept to resolve your personal injury claim.
It is typical of insurance companies to use to come up with some ruthless offers. You’ll need a qualified personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the waters throughout the process. They will give credence to your personal injury case by helping you draft a short letter stating the valuable elements of your claim.
Don’t settle until you’re healed
When renegotiating a lowball insurance settlement offer, you should not accept anything until you fully recover from your injuries. You must fully understand the depth of your injuries so that the settlement offer can cater to future medical expenditures.
The moment you accept an offer, settlement negotiations are closed, and you cannot renegotiate or launch another personal injury case. Your settlement offer is a legally binding agreement.
In a normal settlement, you agree to accept money in exchange for the termination of your case or the relinquishment of your legal rights against the other party. Once your settlement has been accepted and signed, that marks the end of settlement negotiations, and you cannot go back later even after discovering that the settlement was too low to satisfy all of your financial demands.
This further explains the significance of having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side throughout the settlement negotiations process.
A personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate a reasonable settlement
A personal injury lawyer has the necessary arsenal to help personal injury victims negotiate successfully in any personal injury lawsuit. They will help you investigate all the losses incurred following your injury to determine your out-of-pocket expenditures as well as the pain and suffering experienced.
It calls for a seasoned attorney to translate non-economic damages into a realistic figure that will pay for future medical expenses and help you lead a better life.
Talk to us today!
The ultimate response to a low settlement offer depends on a variety of circumstances. If you’ve been injured, whether serious or small, seek immediate legal advice from an established law firm in Ireland for a free consultation.
We are a group of legal professionals, including personal injury lawyers, who will guide you in navigating the complex legal system to ensure you receive fair compensation. Call us today for a free case review and a detailed analysis of your insurance claim.