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How to Respond to a Low Personal Injury Settlement Offer

As a victim of a personal injury, you have explicit rights to receive compensation for your injuries. Financial losses that you have suffered as a result of your injury, as well as medical expenses both now and in the future, should be a part of this compensation. The insurance company may also be obligated to cover additional costs based on state law and the terms of their policies. Insurance companies, however, will often begin the negotiation process by offering a settlement that may not be adequate to cover your losses. They know many people will simply accept their low offer because they don't know better. Accepting an offer that's less than what you need to recover can potentially lead to more issues later. Here's what you need to know about responding to a low injury settlement offer.

Why Insurance Companies Offer Low Settlements

Insurance companies understand that they must pay you compensation after an accident that causes an injury. However, their first concern is trying to figure out how to pay as little as possible while remaining within the guidelines of the law. They may advertise that they are concerned with your problems, but every insurance company's primary concern is their bottom line. This consideration is why most insurance companies offer a meager settlement at the beginning of any compensation negotiations. They extend this offer in the hope that the injury victim will think that the offer is fair and settle the case quickly. They know that many injury victims may be struggling financially after an accident, and simply have nothing to lose by offering a small settlement offer.

Why You Should Never Accept The First Low Ball Offer

When the insurance company makes you an offer for the first time, you should not automatically accept it. In most cases, you should not accept the offer at all. There is a very high chance that this is a low ball offer and does not realistically cover the losses you have suffered. For example, it is not uncommon for an insurance company to approach a person a week or two after the accident has occurred with an offer. It is the insurer's intent to end this claim quickly. In most cases, this offer cannot be adequate because you do not know the actual extent of your losses. You do not know how long it will take to make a recovery, how much additional medical care you will need, or even if you will be able to return to work. Related: Facts About Personal Injury Claims in Las Vegas, NV It is imperative to understand that regardless of the way that the insurance company is making it sound in their letter of offer, you do not have to accept this offer. You do, however, have to respond.

Responding to a Low Ball Offer From The Insurance Company

The first thing that you should do is wait a day or two before you begin your response. If you act too quickly, your response may be more emotional than professional. Take a few days to look over the offer, understand where they came up with these figures, and think about your response. In your response, you will have to respectfully decline their offer and then make a counteroffer. Your counter offer should include a total dollar amount figure and the reasons behind this dollar amount. You will need to be very thorough about how you arrived at this number because there is a chance they will accept what you offer. Your proposal should include:
  • Cost of current medical care for your injuries
  • Cost of future medical care if necessary
  • Present and future lost wages
  • Current and future lost financial contributions if they apply
  • Cost for retraining if you qualify
  • Cost for disability if you qualify
  • Cost for services that you typically perform around your home but are unable to because of your injury
  • Loss of consortium if allowed by law and applies to your case
  • Pain and suffering if allowed by law
  • Other benefits guaranteed to you under state law and the terms of the insurance policy covering the event
It is critical that you have sufficient evidence to support all claims that you make in your counteroffer. The insurance company is going to want to know where those figures came from, what they are based on, and how you came to your final number. Your best bet is to be as detailed as possible when writing your response, and include supporting documents as well.

Seeking Legal Help in Fighting A Low Ball Settlement Offer

Many people try to work with insurance companies on their own after sustaining an injury. They believe that the insurance company will always have their best interest in mind. Sadly, the insurance company often does not act in this manner. Insurance adjusters are trained to use every tactic available to pay out the lowest settlement possible. They only make money by paying claimants settlements that are lower than they are worth. When the injury victim becomes aware of this fact, they often feel as if they are stuck and must accept the offer given. This idea is simply not true. At any point before a settlement agreement is reached between you and the insurance company, you as a victim have the right to seek legal help on your case. In fact, everyone who has sustained injuries in an accident is encouraged to speak with a personal injury attorney about their case so they can protect themselves and their rights as a victim.

What a Personal Injury Attorney Can Do for You

When you work with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney, you are giving yourself an advantage when it comes to negotiating a settlement on your case. Your lawyer's knowledge of Nevada laws and insurance policies provide them with an advantage that most people do not have when dealing with an insurance company. Most insurers know this and will be much more reasonable when working with an attorney rather than the victim alone. If you're injured and feel as though the insurance company is trying to pay you less than what your claim is worth, contact Bernstein & Poisson today. This skilled legal team has over 50 combined years of experience dealing with insurance companies, and know how to get you the compensation you deserve. They will work with you to gather the necessary documents and formulate a settlement offer that is fair and complete. Don't fall victim to insurance company tactics, call (702) 602-8869 to schedule your free consultation today.