When you suffer an injury in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you are generally entitled to financial compensation from that individual’s insurance company to cover your medical bills, lost wages for missing time to recover, and even pain and suffering. While it may appear like your prayers have been answered when the insurer offers you a settlement, think again.
Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit and protecting their bottom line. They are not looking out for your best interests, only their own. Their goal is to pay you as little money as possible without stepping foot inside a courtroom.
In most cases, the first settlement is near the bottom of their price range. For that specific reason, you should always reject the first offer when negotiating a car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.
The following are several steps you must take to ensure you obtain the best settlement offer possible from the insurance adjuster in order to make a successful recovery from your injury:
- Hire a lawyer – Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can make a substantial difference. Rather than dealing with recovery and communicating with insurance adjusters on your own, a lawyer can protect your rights, build a strong legal strategy to support your case, negotiate on your behalf, and help you maximize your settlement offer. When an attorney is involved, insurers will take the claim more seriously.
- Calculate how much your claim is estimated to be worth – Knowing how much your injuries are worth could help you determine if the insurance company’s settlement offer is too low. Look at your auto insurance policy to see how much collision and medical coverage you have. Add up all your medical bills and any other out-of-pocket expenses—such as gas mileage driving back and forth from the doctor. Consider future medical costs if your injury is permanent or you missed significant work time. Do not forget about noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Your lawyer can also help you make these calculations.
- Reject the first offer – If you realize the insurer’s settlement offer is too low, the next step is negotiations. Again, your lawyer could handle this. Otherwise, you need to write a letter to the insurance adjuster which details the facts of the case, your injuries, and the appropriate value of the settlement. Begin at the high end of your range and explain why you arrived at this figure. You can even ask them to justify their low settlement offer.
At Tedford & Associates, we offer all our potential clients a free consultation to discuss their case. If you are worried about compensating our Pasadena personal injury lawyer, you don’t have to pay us anything unless we win your case. That means no upfront fees during the course of your claim. Let us fight for you while you make the best recovery possible from injury.
For more information, contact us and speak with our experienced legal team today.