What Happens if You Don’t Accept a Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company?
Bill Allen | September 15, 2023 | Personal Injury
After sustaining injuries in an accident, the compensation you receive from the insurance company is often necessary to stay afloat. It can help you with your medical bills, property damage, and out-of-pocket expenses. Unfortunately, some settlement offers are not sufficient to meet your needs.
If you want a fair settlement offer from an insurance company, you will likely need a personal injury attorney to advocate for you. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Determine What Your Case Is Worth
You cannot determine whether a settlement offer is fair or not before calculating how much your case is worth.
The value of your case may depend on the following:
- The severity of your injuries
- Future medical treatment required
- Medical expenses
- Whether you share any responsibility for the accident
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- The strength of the evidence in favor of your claim
- Property damage
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you ascertain what your case is worth and whether or not a settlement offer is fair.
Evidence Can Prove the Value of Your Case
If you are involved in a personal injury accident due to someone else’s negligence, you will likely be dealing with an insurance company. This is often an adversarial relationship as insurers want to pay you the least amount of money possible for your injuries.
However, if you can provide strong evidence to support your claim, you may receive a better settlement offer.
The following are examples of evidence that can help prove your case during the insurance settlement negotiation process:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Accident reports
- Witness statements
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Documentation of lost income
Gathering evidence to prove the value of your case can be overwhelming. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you navigate this difficult process.
Reject the First Offer and Keep Negotiating
Frequently, the first settlement offer made by the insurance company will be low. If an offer is too low, you can decline it. Once you reject a first offer, negotiations may continue.
You should state in writing that the offer is rejected and why you are counter-offering. Describe your injuries and damages to the insurer.
You can continue to counter-offer the insurance company until you reach a desirable settlement or negotiations fail.
Request Another Insurance Adjuster
If an insurance adjuster refuses to negotiate after you reject their initial offer, you can potentially request a new insurance adjuster. If an insurance company refuses to continue negotiations, you should not accept a low settlement offer from them.
The following are steps to take if an insurance adjuster is negotiating in bad faith:
- Do not accept a low settlement offer
- Take notes of every interaction you have with the insurance adjuster
- Report unethical behavior by an insurance adjuster to the insurance company
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer
If you are able to successfully document bad-faith negotiation tactics by the original insurance adjuster, you may be able to show the necessity of having a new insurance adjuster assigned to you.
Take the Case to Court
If you are unable to reach a fair settlement agreement with the insurance company, you can take your case to court. You should consult with a personal injury attorney before ceasing negotiations and deciding to go to trial.
A personal injury lawyer can help you determine what the best course of action is. Going to court can be a gamble. The defendant may be held not liable, and you could ultimately end up with no compensation. However, sometimes, the mere threat of going to trial can help negotiations get back on track. Keep in mind that cases can still (and usually do) settle once a lawsuit is filed.
After seeing the evidence that both sides have to offer, an insurance adjuster may be more willing to offer a fair settlement. If not, a skilled personal injury lawyer can represent you at trial and pursue the compensation you need.
Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
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