If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, you likely have a long road to recovery ahead of you. This situation can be worrisome because your bills are mounting while you’re off work, and you don’t know how you’ll pay them.
So when the other driver’s insurance company offers you compensation, taking it may seem very tempting. However, there are several reasons why you should not take their first offer.
How do insurance companies determine the settlement amount?
When calculating how much to pay for a personal injury claim, insurance companies will consider the following:
- The severity of the injuries
- The impact your injury has on your ability to work
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Level of fault
Even with all the available information, an insurance company is likely to make a low settlement offer for a variety of reasons, including:
- Protecting their profit margin. Insurance companies are like any other business – their goal is to make money. Paying out less money protects their bottom line.
- They are counting on your unstable financial position and must take what they offer.
- The strategy has worked before with other car crash victims.
- The insurance company doesn’t think you will want the hassle of going to court.
- It may believe you don’t completely understand the actual value of your claim.
You have several options if an insurance company approaches you with an offer:
- Determine if it is a fair offer by comparing it to similar cases.
- Try negotiating with the company for a higher settlement.
- Know the value of your claim, which includes medical expenses, lost wages, the likelihood of a full recovery, and pain and suffering.
You may need to file a lawsuit if you are having difficulties dealing with the insurance company and its settlement offers. Working with someone who is used to dealing with insurance companies can help you get a fair result.