As a private entity with money in mind, it is not surprising that insurance companies would do whatever it can to maximize their profits. One way is by getting you to accept a ridiculously low settlement offer. With extremely effective negotiation tactics, some insurance companies are successful in settling personal injury cases at a low number. Experienced Riverside personal injury lawyers are prepared to answer these tactics to ensure you receive a fair and reasonable settlement.
Insurer Negotiation Tactics
The first offer is rarely fair. After being involved in an accident, you are vulnerable and may be inclined to accept any money. Knowing this, insurance companies take advantage of your vulnerability by offering to settle at an unreasonably low amount.
How do you know whether the offer is reasonable or not? A fair settlement will cover the following costs (depending on the policy):
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident and/or your injuries
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses and lost income
If the offer does not cover these expenses or, if not, is not the maximum policy limits, then the offer is too low. Some reasons for the lowball offer are:
- Your settlement demand was unreasonable
- The insurance company is conservative and prefers to litigate
- Offer is based on computerized system that identifies payouts of similar accidents in your area
- Poor documentation of your claim
- Adjuster is new and/or has little authority to settle for a higher amount
- Refusal to pay for some, or all, medical costs upon belief that you were not really injured or your injury was pre-existing. This often occurs if you did not go to the emergency room immediately following the accident, you missed treatments, or you stopped treating.
- Adjuster overstated the amount you were at fault for the accident
What To Do
There are several things you can do if you receive a low offer:
- Ensure that the adjuster received all documents related to your expenses and whether the adjuster needs additional information.
- Ask questions to determine how the insurance adjuster calculated his or her estimate of your damages, what costs went into the calculation, etc.
- Attempt to renegotiate. You may ask if the adjuster has room to move up. If so, then your Riverside personal injury attorney can reduce the initial demand to perhaps the mid-high range of what your case is worth. If the adjuster jumps to a more reasonable number, successful negotiation may be possible.
- Initiate litigation.
Contact Riverside Personal Injury Lawyers
Before you attempt to settle with the insurance company, seek a seasoned Riverside personal injury attorney with Russell & Lazarus APC at (949) 851-0222.