If you have been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, at some point you will most likely receive a settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurance company. In fact, it’s estimated that around 95% of personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom, so it’s important to know how to respond to the first settlement offer.
First, consider the timing of the offer. Some insurance companies will attempt to settle with you as quickly as possible after the accident. This may sound appealing, but if you settle shortly after you have been injured, you may not even know the true value of your claim. It takes time to gather evidence related to the case and determine the cost of your medical expenses. If you don’t have all the information yet, you won’t know if it’s a fair offer or not. It’s also important that you never accept a settlement without consulting with an attorney. If you haven’t even had time to contact an attorney, it’s best to wait to get his advice.
You should also consider the insurance policy limits before responding to the first offer. If a negligent truck driver has an insurance policy limit of $100,000 and you are only being offered $10,000 despite the severity of your injuries, it may be possible to get a better offer.
Most of the time, the first settlement offer will be low, so don’t let this take you by surprise. If you would like to submit a counteroffer, an attorney can help you put this request in writing. The counteroffer should include evidence that proves the defendant was liable and information related to your injuries. Prove why the counteroffer is reasonable by discussing the medical expenses you have incurred and the pain that you’ve experienced as a result of the injuries.
Although most first offers are low, you should never automatically reject the first offer without reviewing it. In cases where there is a significant amount of evidence proving liability and serious injuries are involved, the insurance company may want to avoid going to trial at all costs. Therefore, the insurance adjuster may make a fair first offer in an attempt to resolve the case outside of the courtroom.
Have you been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. It’s in your best interests to talk to our attorneys prior to accepting a settlement offer. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.