If you were injured in an automobile accident that wasn’t your fault, you expect to receive a fair claim settlement claim from the negligent party’s insurance to compensate you for your injuries, time missed from work and other factors that play a role in a personal injury, such as mental anguish and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, receiving a fair settlement from an auto insurance company is not always as easy as it should be.
Auto insurance companies use in-house insurance claim adjusters to determine the amount your claim is worth. Since the adjusters work for the insurance company, their intention is often to save the company money. This is one of the reasons why more times than not their first settlement claim offer is lower than it should be.
How to assess the offer and renegotiate a fair settlement
After an accident in which you’ve suffered personal injuries, you or your lawyer will send a demand letter to the responsible party and their insurance company. The insurance company must evaluate the case and respond to your demand with a settlement offer. Here are some other important steps in the process:
- Assessing the offer. Before you decide whether you should accept or reject an insurance company’s offer, you and your attorney should first determine what you believe to be a fair settlement. Once you and your attorney decide on a fair settlement, you can compare your claim amount to what is offered by the insurance company.
- Responding to an unfair settlement offer. It’s common for insurance companies to low-ball claim offers. If you and your attorney think the settlement offer is unacceptable, you can reject the offer and your attorney can negotiate with the insurance adjuster. To do so, your attorney may provide information like medical or hospital bills, documentation of lost wages due to missed work, and other expenses that prove your claim should be higher.
- Formulating your counteroffer. It’s important to remain calm when your insurance company offers you a low settlement claim. Don’t respond emotionally to their offer and try not to respond with an unreasonably high counteroffer. It is also recommended that when you do respond, you do so in writing so that an accurate record is kept.
- Don’t accept a low-ball claim. Even if you are in desperate need of money, don’t accept a low-ball offer. The first claim settlement offered by the insurance company should serve as a starting point for negotiations, not a final deal.
- Be persistent. Reaching a fair settlement claim is a back and forth process that can take time. Remember to be patient, persistent and don’t accept anything less than you deserve.
Reach out to our New York car accident lawyers
Our team of car accident lawyers have over 70 years of combined experienced in practicing personal injury law in New York. We’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients and know what it takes to negotiate a fair settlement claim from an insurance company.
Call us at (914) 968-5800 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation.