You were involved in a crash and you were hurt by someone else’s carelessness. You received treatment, and over time your condition improved. You did everything right and assumed the insurance company would do the right thing and provide you with a reasonable settlement offer. To your surprise, the insurance company’s offer was not reasonable, rather, it is a lowball insurance settlement offer. So, how to respond to a low settlement offer?
Your first inclination may be to respond with anger and hostility. After all, you didn’t do anything wrong and simply want your medical bills paid. Yet, responding with emotion is not ideal when determining how to respond to a low settlement offer. So, how to fight the auto insurance low ball settlement offer?
Understanding a Settlement Offer
First, it is important to understand what is a settlement offer. A settlement offer is the insurance company’s offer of money in exchange for you agreeing to never sue the person responsible for your injuries. In other words, when an insurance company offers a low settlement, they are offering you money in exchange for a release of all claims against the negligent person, even if the full extent of your injuries is unknown. Now that you understand what is a settlement offer, we can better understand how to respond to a low settlement offer.
Why Did I Receive a Lowball Settlement Offer?
When an insurance company offers low settlement, it is important to first understand why. It could be a lowball settlement offer because the insurance adjuster does not have all of the relevant medical bills and records that support your claim. To understand if the adjuster is missing anything, simply call the adjuster and ask what they took into consideration in coming up with their settlement offer. If the offer is based on an incomplete picture of your claim, provide the missing medical bills and records and ask the adjuster to re-evaluate the claim.
The adjuster could also be making a low settlement offer for a number of other reasons. For example, the settlement offer could be low because there was not a lot of damage to the vehicles, there were large gaps in the medical treatment, or you had pre-existing injuries to the same parts of the body that were injured in your crash. These arguments can be complex, and there is no one-sized fits all response to these arguments, but it is best to understand the adjuster’s reasoning so you can address them head on.
Responding to the Lowball Settlement Offer
Once you determine that the adjuster has all of your medical bills and records, it’s time to send a simple letter rejecting the settlement offer, and providing a settlement counter offer. In a settlement counter offer letter, it is important to highlight the pain and suffering that you actually experienced. While the medical records will contain your diagnosis, it will not contain what you went through day after day. For example, did your pain prevent you from performing your job, picking up your kids, or playing the sports you love? These soft factors may assist the adjuster in properly evaluating your claim.
Moreover, your settlement counter offer letter should highlight the pain and suffering you experienced. Your counter offer should also address and of the other basis of the lowball offer. You should not ignore these arguments, but rather you should address them head on. In your counter offer letter you should also provide a settlement counter offer number that you would be willing to accept to settle your personal injury claim.
You may think you need a sample letter rejecting settlement offer to respond to the insurance company. While there are many sample rejection letters online, you don’t need one as no strict form is required. A simple letter addressing the components of your claim is all that is needed.
Negotiating a low settlement offer
If you’ve been handling your pain and suffering claim without lawyer, that is likely the reason why you received a lowball settlement offer. When personal injury victims try to handle their pain and suffering claim without a lawyer, insurance companies often try to take advantage of the situation by making lowball settlement offers. The insurance company will often assume that since you do not have a personal injury lawyer handling your claim, you will not know what your claim is worth or the full extent of compensation you’re entitled to.
Adjusters will also attempt to get you to settle your case quickly, before you completely understand the full extent of your injuries. Often, insurance adjusters will call you early in the case and make you a lowball offer to entice you to accept.
The problem with these early lowball settlement offers is that the adjuster will make them before you know the full extent of your injuries and the treatment you are going to require right now, and in the future. For example, if you accept a lowball settlement offer today, but you realize in three months that you require surgery, you cannot go back and ask for more money.
As you can see, how to respond to a low settlement offer can be complex depending on a number of factors. Whether it’s serious or minor, if you’ve sustained an injury, contact the Las Vegas personal injury attorney team at Valiente Mott Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation.
We are a team of legal experts that will help you navigate through the complicated legal process. We also help respond to low settlement offers so you can get the most out of your injury settlement.
Valiente Mott is a law firm dedicated to helping personal injury victims. We handle all personal injury matters, including, but not limited to, car crashes, defective products, and catastrophic injury. We are compassionate, yet aggressive when protecting personal injury victims and families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents. Learn more about who we are.
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