Serious car accident injuries can lead to substantial medical expenses, property damage, and loss of income, among others. When you add emotional stress to the economic costs, a low settlement can feel like an insult.
Insurance companies are in a for-profit industry and intend to protect their bottom line. Every time they have to settle claims, they lose money. So their main focus is to minimize settlement and reduce losses to as little as possible.
Fortunately, you must not accept the low settlement from the insurance company. You can take steps to ensure that you get what you deserve from the insurance company. An experienced car accident attorney can help you to get the amount of money that you deserve.
If you or someone close to you have received unreasonably low settlement offers, The JLF Firm in California is available to stand up for you and demand proper compensation.
What Compensation Will You Receive In Your Car Accident Settlement?
You cannot know whether the insurance company has offered you a low settlement if you don’t know the compensation you are entitled to under California law. Your settlement should include past and future damages.
Here is the list of types of compensation that you are eligible to receive:
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages in case you lost a loved one to the accident
Why Do Insurance Companies Offer Low Settlements?
Insurance companies are more concerned with making profits than paying for settlements. Any settlement from the insurance company will always be lower than what you deserve. Remember that their aim is to pay out the lowest possible settlements. Since some people think that insurance companies have their best interests at heart, they will accept the payment and think it is the highest settlement they can receive.
Insurance companies may also pay low settlements if you did not provide them with enough information that could have helped them to make an informed decision. Insurance companies are likely to offer less payment without the proper information on a person’s medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, and property damage.
How to Respond to Low Settlement from a Car Insurance Company
Insurance companies will give you a low settlement and several reasons for the low payout. Some of these may include the claim that you were at fault during the accident, some injuries are not severe enough to warrant greater compensation, or question the amount of pain and suffering experienced. Never accept this low offer unless it is fair.
You can follow these helpful steps to respond to the insurance company.
After receiving the low insurance settlement offer:
- Do not react with anger.
- Stay calm and look at the situation carefully.
- Call your lawyer and discuss what might have led to the low settlement.
- Don’t feel intimidated by the insurance company.
You can ask the insurance adjuster to elaborate on how they came up with the offer. Ask yourself if any weaknesses in your claim might have led to the low settlement. After looking at your claim and the insurance company’s reasoning, you can know whether there is missing information and provide more evidence for a higher offer.
You must put together a counteroffer when rejecting a settlement offer. In this procedure, you should state that you will not accept the initial settlement offer. Consider reasons why you feel you deserve a higher payment and respond to each reason for their low pay. Finally, weigh the higher offer that you are willing to accept. Your attorney should help you prepare the counteroffer.
Respond in writing
Always ensure that you respond through writing to prevent any confusion. Written communication can rarely be misinterpreted. The insurance company can never claim that they didn’t receive your counteroffer. In case of misunderstanding, you can use your written response to a low settlement offer to defend yourself.
Accept the settlement offer when you are healed
Once you have accepted the offer, you cannot claim or recover any more compensation. Insurance companies may try to offer you compensation immediately to avoid paying for any future medical bills. Unless you realize the full extent of your injuries and the total medication costs, don’t accept the insurance settlement offer because it can be less than what you deserve.
File a suit
If the insurance company rejects your higher offer and refuses to be reasonable, talk to your attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf and litigate the claim. Though settling your case through the court may take longer, the insurance company is more likely to offer you a fair settlement before the case goes to the jury trial.
Contact The JLF Law Firm to help you Demand a Fair Settlement
What is a good settlement offer? A good settlement offer should cover your hospital bills, legal fees, property damages, and take care of lost wages and other economic and non-economic losses. It depends on the extent of injuries and damages that you have experienced.
Hiring a lawyer to help with the settlement offer can change how insurance agencies handle your claim. It can also help you when you want to file a lawsuit because you will have an attorney that already understands the case.
The JLF Firm consists of experienced car accident attorneys with the resources and knowledge to handle car-related claims. They can help you provide evidence to prove all the expenses related to your damages and get full compensation. Contact The JLF Firm today for a free consultation.
FAQs About Car Accident Insurance Offers
Should I ever accept the first settlement offer?
You should not accept the first settlement offer because it is probably a lowball offer. It is always the insurance starting point for negotiations and will never represent fair compensation.
Why get a car accident lawyer to negotiate with the insurance company?
A car accident lawyer has experience and understanding of the tactics used by insurance companies to deny claimants full compensation for damages. They can also help you to gather evidence to prove damages and guide you through the legal process.