In a personal injury claims process, the insurance company you’re working with — often the negligent party’s provider — will offer you a settlement. A common question we get from our clients is whether they should accept that offer and move on with their lives.
While accepting the offer will end the case, it’s important to be sure you are actually getting a fair deal out of the proposed settlement. Because insurance companies know people want to get through the claims process as quickly as possible, they will typically offer a low settlement offer, hoping you will just take it so you can move on.
In most cases, you should probably reject the first offer from an insurance company, but you should only do so with the advice of your attorney and a plan for negotiating with the insurance company afterward.
You do not end your chances at securing compensation for your injuries by rejecting the insurance company’s first offer. Instead, you give yourself the opportunity to negotiate.
The best way to do this is for you and a lawyer to have an ideal settlement figure somewhere in mind, along with an absolute bottom-level offer you would accept. When you respond to the initial offer with your rejection, submit a detailed injury demand letter that asks for more than the insurer first offered. You might need to repeat this process several times until you arrive at a compromised settlement figure that works for both sides. Only then should you sign your liability release and end the claim.
This negotiation becomes more important as the value of your claim increases. Any claim involving significant injuries and vehicle damage is going to have a lot more money on the line, which is why it’s important to fight to maximize your settlement. That’s why an experienced injury attorney who understands your claim’s value offers you the best chance of a good result.