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How To Handle A Low Settlement Offer

How To Handle A Low Settlement Offer

You’ve been in a car accident, and although you have been injured, in the weeks and months since then you’ve had to fill out a ton of paperwork and respond to numerous requests for information and documentation. Despite your cooperation and patience, the auto insurance company offered you a settlement that you think is too low.

Or, your home has suffered damage from a flood or storm, and your home insurance company, which you paid faithfully over the years you’ve owned your home, is offering a settlement that is far too low to complete repairs.

Unfortunately, these scenarios are common, because insurance companies only make money when they don’t pay claims or refuse to pay claims in full. The insurance company you are dealing with is trying to take advantage of your state of mind, being injured and stressed out and having your payout delayed while the bills roll in. They are hoping that you will just give up and accept their low-ball offer.

What can you do when the car insurance settlement offer is too low? Call the HGSK legal team at 267-361-0569. Our firm regularly handles lawsuits against insurance companies acting in bad faith, and often we are able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company outside of court for far more than our client was initially offered. Moreover, we don’t get paid unless you do. Call us to schedule your free, no-risk, no-obligation consultation.

How an Auto Insurance Claim Works

The car insurance claim process is supposed to work like this:

  1. The drivers exchange insurance and contact information;
  2. You call the other driver’s insurance company right away to start the claim process;
  3. You provide a statement about how the accident happened;
  4. You complete all of the required paperwork;
  5. You submit all of the documents and information the insurer requests;
  6. A claims adjuster assesses your claim.
  7. The insurer pays you an amount that compensates you for your injuries, damage to your car, and lost wages.

How a Home Insurance Claim Works

The home insurance claim is supposed to work like this:

  1. You contact your home insurance company and explain the damage.
  2. The insurer will instruct you how to file a claim, probably online, and to submit pictures.
  3. The insurer’s claim adjuster visits your home promptly to assess the damage.
  4. The insurer will compensate you in an amount that will pay for repairs to restore your home to its former condition.

What is an Insurance Settlement Offer?

An insurance settlement offer is just that, an offer. You do not have to take it. Typically an insurer will make you an initial offer on your claim, and if you negotiate, may amend that offer. Settlements also occur once an insurance company has been sued and wants to stop the litigation by negotiating a payout that is acceptable to the plaintiff.

Unfortunately, it is all too common for an insurance company to start with an initial offer that is far too low considering what the victim of a car accident has suffered, or what damage your home has suffered. The good news is, you don’t have to settle for what you are initially offered.

Do I Have to Accept the Insurance Adjusters Offer?

No, you do not have to accept a low initial settlement offer. The insurance company adjuster may say something to the effect of take it or leave it, but you don’t have to do either. You can negotiate for more.

You Deserve Compensation for Damage from the Car Accident

You have your medical bills, the car repair or replacement costs, and your lost wages calculated. This is proof of the amount of compensation you need. If you’ve provided this to the insurance company and they are refusing to match or exceed the total amount, they are acting in bad faith. Call HGSK to schedule a consultation.

You Deserve Compensation for Future Medical Bills, Wage Loss, and Pain and Suffering

If your injuries will cause permanent problems for you and impact your quality of life, or your injuries prevent you from working or working as much, you can ask for an amount that compensates you for such.

While you can estimate what your lost wages would be based on the number of years you would work and anticipated raises in salary or wages, it can be a challenge to calculate non-quantifiable damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium. In these cases, we have gotten many, many personal injury clients the insurance settlement they deserved.

You Deserve to Have Your Home Repaired

Homeowners are typically offered far less than estimates you receive to repair the damage. In the meantime, the damage worsens, or worst case scenario, you cannot live in the home until it is repaired.

We have gotten many homeowners the insurance settlement they need to repair their homes, and promptly, so that they could move on with their lives.

How Do You Respond to a Low-Ball Settlement Offer?

First, call an experienced insurance attorney to help you negotiate and fight the insurance company. Your attorney will help you formally reject the initial offer in writing and calculate the lowest amount you’d accept considering your damages. While it is possible to get more than that, you need to set a threshold amount which, if not met, will trigger a lawsuit. Your attorney will also help you find out what the policy limit is, as that is the ceiling on any payout.

Once you’ve calculated your counteroffer and put that and the reasons you deserve that amount in writing, your attorney will handle negotiations with the claims adjuster. He or she will know you are serious about pursuing a larger payout once your attorney gets involved, and will weigh the costs of a lawsuit against the costs of paying you more.

You may get a better offer from the insurance company, or the insurance company will not budge. Either way, now is the time for you and your attorney to sit down and do your own cost-benefit analysis, weighing the costs of litigation versus accepting the current offer.

Our Insurance Law Firm Will Get You the Settlement You Need

Is the insurance company giving you the runaround? Have you received a low-ball settlement offer from the insurance claims adjuster? We can help, and we have several locations across Pennsylvania. Contact us to schedule your free consultation and find out what an experienced insurance attorney can do for you.