Most personal injury cases are not litigated. In a majority of cases, the two sides negotiate a settlement out of court. This can be beneficial for both you and the insurance company. You do not have to worry about convincing a jury or risk losing your case, and the insurance company avoids costly litigation.
Therefore, the insurance company may be quick to offer you a settlement, but that doesn’t mean you should take it right away. Often, insurance companies offer less than what you really deserve, hoping that you don’t really know what your case is worth and that you’ll accept the lowball offer just to be done with it. Once you accept the settlement offer, you no longer have the right to claim anything more, even if it turns out that your damages exceed the amount of compensation you’ve received. Therefore, you should take care before accepting any settlement offer. Here are some things you should know about dealing with the insurance company.
1. You Don’t Have To Take the Initial Offer
Insurance companies sometimes make it sound as though there won’t be another if one you don’t accept the initial offer. Usually this isn’t true, and even if it were, you would still have the right to file a lawsuit and try to persuade the court to force the insurance company to pay you damages. Therefore, you have nothing to lose by rejecting the initial offer.
2. You Can Submit a Counteroffer
If you think the initial offer is too low, you can respond with a counteroffer that you think is more appropriate. The insurance company may respond with a counteroffer of its own, and this process can go on for some time. It can be tedious, but at the end of the negotiation, you are more likely to end up with a settlement that adequately compensates you for your damages.
3. You Should Find Out What Your Case Is Worth
It can be difficult to negotiate a fair settlement when you do not know the amount of damages that you are entitled to. You may propose a counteroffer that is too high or too low. If possible, wait until you have finished treatment for your injuries, or at least until you know how long you will require it. Analyze the details of your case unemotionally.
You do not need to handle your case alone. A personal injury lawyer in Towson, MD, like from Seigel & Rouhana, LLC, can help you to determine a fair settlement amount and negotiate with the insurance company. Contact a law office to start the process.