Our Long Beach personal injury lawyers at Russell and Lazarus APC understand that dealing with insurance company adjusters can be a frustrating experience. Insurance claims adjusters are professional negotiators who deal with reducing settlement payouts on a daily basis. Their goal in every situation is to get the claimant to either except a low settlement offer to eliminate the claim quickly or look for reasons to extend the claim for a long period of time as a method of forcing the client to settle because of financial hardship. The insurance company that is responsible for covering damages has no real obligation to an injured claimant other than providing funds for their negligent client. Because of the typical negotiation protocol and financial goal of the insurance company, dealing with an insurance company adjuster is no undertaking for a novice injured claimant and should always be handled by your Long Beach personal injury lawyers.
Understanding Your Damages
Most auto accident claim cases involve compensatory damages that cover medical bills and expenses accrued while seeking medical treatment as an initial reimbursement request. Rental vehicles can often be a part of this calculation, and this is also a component of coverage that should begin immediately. When an insurance company adjuster refuses to provide rental transportation while waiting to pay a property damage claim your Long Beach car accident lawyer can force the company to act immediately or face a separate legal claim for bad faith negotiations. Insurance companies are required by law to provide coverage as quickly as possible in obvious coverage cases for their client, and failure to provide replacement transportation can often justify that claim. Bad faith claims require the insurance company to pay damages above and beyond the maximum insurance coverage for their responsible client, and having experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyers can help you take inventory of what is needed immediately as well as what your total claim value may be. Always have a dollar amount in mind when dealing with the insurance adjuster.
Never Accept the Initial Offer
Your initial settlement offer is never what you expect it should be. This is done by prescribed negotiation policy for the insurance company adjuster. In addition, especially if the claim includes medical bill recovery and and non-economic pain and suffering compensatory damages, the insurance adjuster will assuredly be seeking a full release from ongoing medical coverage obligations. Your Long Beach personal injury lawyers will advise you to never sign anything until the final settlement is provided in writing. Always require the insurance to company to submit the offer in documentation, along with reasons why the claim may be so low. State auto insurance coverage requirements are typically very low, and many times the injured claimant is entitled to the maximum amount of damage coverage.
Questioning a Low Offer
The first offer from the insurance company adjuster will always be less than the maximum coverage amount. Though the adjuster may not reveal the actual amount of coverage their negligent client may carry on their auto insurance policy, your Long Beach attorneys from Russell and Lazarus can request information from the insurance company regarding all specifics of the respondent’s insurance coverage. When the injured claimant attempts to handle the claim personally there could potentially be much more money available than the typical state minimums for auto insurance coverage. In addition, there are regularly multiple negligent responsible parties when adjudicating an auto accident, and the insurance adjusters for each party can attempt to deflect responsibility or lessen the comparative negligence percentage of their client. The more insurance companies involved, the greater the complications in most cases. Dealing with these negotiation complications is where your Long Beach personal injury lawyers earn their fee, as your attorney is a professional negotiator also.
Explaining Why Your Settlement Should Be Higher
Anytime an insurance adjuster makes a low offer, it is important to ask for the reasoning behind the inadequate amount. Be prepared to explain to the adjuster in emotional detail why the offer is not sufficient, including reduced ongoing earning capacity and details of how the injury will impact the remainder of your life. Many auto accident injuries are severe and will often result in the injured plaintiff being place on disability or change to sedentary employment, which is often a much lower income level. Calculating a settlement for non-economic pain and suffering is usually where the value of a claim can be enhanced, and letting your Long Beach car accident lawyer handle the negotiations will often result in a much higher settlement, especially when multiple negligent parties are included. The potential for dealing with multiple insurance companies is also likely in many auto accident injury cases, including claims for defective automobile equipment causation. In addition, the insurance company may also embellish your personal comparative negligence involvement in the accident, which can also be disputed by your legal counsel. Always let the professionals handle your negotiation if you are after a maximum damage recovery.
Contact a Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Anyone who is dealing with an insurance company regarding a claim settlement should contact Russell & Lazarus APC at (949) 851-0222 and let them handle your negotiations with the insurance company adjusters.