However, auto accident victims are often surprised to learn that the negligent driver’s insurance company is not interested in resolving the matter quickly or fairly. The insurance company is primarily interested in protecting its bottom line, which means paying little or nothing to the victim.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a car wreck and the insurance company has offered a lowball settlement or no settlement at all, do not give up. You have options.
Do Not Accept An Unfair Settlement
The insurance company expects you to give up and accept whatever they have offered, even if it is nothing at all. Unless you are absolutely certain the money offered will cover all costs related to the motor vehicle accident, do not accept it.
Do Not Give The Insurance Company The Upper Hand
Be careful with the statements you make to the insurance company, particularly about your health and your ability to return to your job. If you make statements about getting better and going back to work, or say things that indicate you just want to get the matter over with, the insurance company may use them against you. You may even be accused of fraud or falsifying the personal injury.
Do Not Let The Insurance Company Disappear
Insurance companies have many tactics to get auto wreck victims to accept settlements. One thing they do is simply disappear. They stop calling and they stop returning calls. Documents get lost. Files get transferred to other adjusters. The insurance company is trying to wait you out, hoping you will get desperate and accept whatever it offers. Do not do it. Keep calling, or recruit a dedicated lawyer to do it for you.
The insurance company is not going to offer more money simply because you ask for it. You will need to show why the money you are asking for is fair. This means being able to provide accurate amounts and supporting documentation related to medical bills, lost wages and other costs. One of the benefits of enlisting an attorney is that the attorney will do this for you, taking great care that nothing is overlooked, including future medical bills and lost wages, which can be difficult to calculate and document.
Why should the insurance company increase its offer? What will you do if it does not? If you enlist an experienced trial lawyer, you can leverage the threat of trial. The insurance company will know that if the settlement offered is not fair, the case will be taken to court, where a jury will decide on the matter. A trial lawyer will convey to the jury the reason why a specific amount should be awarded to you, bringing in experts and other parties as necessary to strengthen your case. With this threat looming, the insurance company may be willing to offer a fair settlement. Trial may not even be necessary, as long as the threat is there.
Work With An Experienced Lawyer
There is a misconception that hiring an attorney is expensive. In personal injury cases, claims are handled on a contingency basis. At the law office of Leonard B. Gabbay, P.C., the process begins with a free, no-obligation consultation, so you can learn more about how having an experienced attorney on your side can benefit you.