After the insurance company receives information pertaining to a claim, it will often issue an initial settlement offer. This first offer is often far too low for the victim to fully recover, and it is important to consider seeking the advice of a lawyer before taking this offer.
If you or someone you care about suffered an injury and is facing an insurance company, it is vital to contact a skilled Fort Worth personal injury lawyer at Anderson & Cummings for assistance with your claim. We can explain the factors that the insurance adjuster uses to make the first settlement offer and why this is normally far lower than what you deserve.
How Insurance Companies Decide on a Settlement Amount
The insurance company will assign an adjuster to investigate a claim. He or she evaluates the claimed damage and evidence submitted. The initial settlement offer is often based on the following factors:
- Details about the plaintiff
- The victim’s story about the accident
- Relevant documentation
- Pain and suffering
- All other accident factors
The adjuster will acquire details about the plaintiff’s situation and evaluate the story he or she has about the accident. Often, the insurance adjuster will interview this person if possible and try to get contradictions in the story. Relevant documentation can include doctor recommendations, treatment options and medication necessary for recovery. With the pain and suffering factor, the insurance company can determine how all factors fit together for an initial settlement offer.
What to Do About a Settlement Offer
Many injured victims will suffer a financial setback when recovering from the accident. This can lead to accepting the first settlement offer because the victim wants to be able to pay off bills and replace lost income. However, it is vital to consider holding off because this first offer is usually not enough to cover all expenses that will accrue during the recovery period. It is not necessary to accept the settlement offer, and it is better to seek the legal counsel of a lawyer before doing so. The company will usually offer the lowest amount possible in order to save money and resolve the matter quickly. If the insurance company sends a check, the victim should wait and avoid cashing the check.
What Happens If You Turn Down the Initial Offer?
The first offer is usually not the last or even the best. If the victim decides to turn down the offer, there are additional steps to follow. After seeking the advice of a lawyer, this person can do the following:
- Turn down the initial offer because it is probably far less than the claim is worth
- With the attorney, respond with the complete demand letter and ask for a value close to or exactly what the claim is probably worth
- Exchange letters with the insurance adjuster and communicate over the phone to negotiate the settlement details through back and forth contact and adjusting the range of compensation
- Arrive at the final settlement amount that is agreeable by both sides and sign a release of liability so the insurance company will cut a check
When You Should Accept a Settlement
It is necessary to understand the full range of medical care needed before accepting a settlement offer. This can include rehabilitation, future procedures and additional costs. The victim should not consider taking any offer until already starting the road to recovery. If the case is not typical, there are often more factors to consider. Research and time can help to explain the full range of compensation needed. Once all damages are clear and the lawyer calculates the range of compensation, communication with the adjuster can provide an eventual resolution to reach the settlement negotiated.
Have Questions or Need Help?
When you or a loved one experiences first-hand a personal injury, it is important to have a legal team to support you, and we at Anderson & Cummings can assist you throughout your claim. We can explain the factors that increase the value of your case. We will communicate with the insurance company so you do not have to worry about what to say. Additionally, our team will investigate your personal injury case to determine the full range of possible compensation and help you pursue it.
Get started today by calling (817) 920-9000 for your free case evaluation.