How to Handle a Lowball Insurance Settlement Offer
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve just been injured in an accident and filed a personal injury claim, chances are you’ll receive a low settlement offer. As an experienced personal injury lawyer, Barry P. Goldberg can explain, insurance companies in particular will usually offer you a settlement that is far less than your claim is worth.
Here are a few tips for handling and refusing a low settlement.
Remain Calm and Think Things Through
You might find it insulting or offensive to receive such a low settlement offer when you’ve suffered so much, but getting angry or hysterical never helps anything. You must remain level-headed and professional. Consider the offer and determine whether it’s really unreasonable, or if you were just hoping for more money.
Write a Letter With a Counteroffer
Draft a formal business letter politely but firmly refusing the settlement offer and making a counteroffer of your own. Don’t counter with the amount that your claim is worth, as the insurance company will negotiate to try to lower it. A high counteroffer is the best response to a lowball settlement offer, as negotiations will often pull both of you closer to the middle ground. Justify your counteroffer by specifying how the injuries you received have changed your life. Mention activities you are no longer able to engage in, such as a physical job you once worked or a sport you used to play. Highlight how much your medical treatment and physical therapy will cost. It is important to remain calm throughout the letter and don’t show any signs of anger. If you have a lawyer, ask for advice on how to properly draft and word the letter.
Don’t Settle For Less
Oftentimes, when you are offered a low settlement, it is with the hope that you’ll be tired of pressing your claim, in need of money to pay medical bills, and ready to settle for less to focus on your recovery. You mustn’t settle until you are fully aware of the extent of your injuries and how much treating them will cost. However, at the same time, it is important to ascertain that the insurance company isn’t using a delay tactic in order to draw out the case past the statute of limitations. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand how much your claim is worth, the statute of limitations, and whether you should settle.
You deserve compensation for the injuries you received, and a lowball offer from your insurance company isn’t going to cut it. Don’t hesitate to talk to a personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you receive the full value of your claim.