When your settlement offer from an insurance company seems low, you have to decide what your next steps are going to be. You can choose to accept the offer, or you can attempt to renegotiate a better deal with the insurance company. If you have received an offer, and you think it is low, here is what you need to know.
Was It Too Low?
Sometimes a settlement offer might seem low, but it actually is not. To determine whether the offer you have received is low, you need to get a fair assessment of several factors in your case. Once you have properly assessed the case, you can judge the fairness of the offer received.
One of the factors you need to take into consideration is the amount of your medical bills. Does the offer you received cover the cost of your expenses? Does the offer provide for future medical bills related to the injuries you suffered?
You also need to consider the extent of your pain and suffering. Since there is no exact method of calculating pain and suffering, you have to decide how much they are worth to you. Work with your personal-injury attorney to determine whether the figure you are considering lines up with the usual for claims similar to yours.
In addition to these factors, you need to consider how much of the accident was your fault. Depending on your state's laws, your settlement could be reduced according to how much of the fault you have for the accident. For instance, if you were equally responsible for the accident, your settlement could be reduced by half.
What Can You Do?
If you choose to reject the offer that you received, you can choose to counter with your own settlement amount. Your attorney can help you determine what the amount should be.
You need to make it difficult for the insurance company to turn down your counter-offer. To do this, you need to overwhelm the adjuster with evidence that you are entitled to far more than you were offered. If you did not previously include evidence with your first demand for payment, you need to provide copies of everything you have to the insurance company.
You might have to go back and forth with the insurance company several times before you are able to reach an agreement. If you are not able to reach an agreement, remember that you still have the right to file a lawsuit against the insurance company.