The majority of auto accident cases settle without going to trial, and yours will most likely be resolved this way. However, it is not uncommon for the negotiation process to begin with the negligent driver’s insurance company making a lowball settlement offer. It is important to know what to do if you receive a first offer that does not fully compensate you for your injuries and how to make a counteroffer.
Understand That This Is the First Offer
It can be disappointing to receive an offer way less than you are owed from the insurance company. This is especially true when you did nothing wrong to cause your car accident and your injuries. However, you need to keep in mind that this is the first offer, and the insurance company will most likely make another more reasonable offer in the future.
While some insurance companies will treat accident victims fairly from the beginning, others start with a low offer to see if it will be accepted and to save the insurance company money. You have an absolute right to reject any settlement offer. Even if you believe the offer is fair, you should not make a decision on accepting it without first consulting with an experienced car accident attorney.
Evaluate the Offer
The insurance company will most likely send you their initial offer in writing at some point after you file your claim and they complete their investigation. You should examine the reasons they give for not offering you more. You will need to respond to these arguments and refute them when making a counteroffer. This can involve providing additional evidence.
Reject the Offer in Writing
If you decide to reject a settlement offer, you should do so in writing. It is best to let your lawyer respond on your behalf. You could make a mistake that could hurt your claim. Here are the basics of what this letter should state:
- That you are rejecting the settlement offer
- Why you believe that you are entitled to more than they are offering
- Your responses for their reasons for offering you a low settlement
- How much you would accept in settlement
Retain an Experienced Lawyer
If you were injured in a car accident in Norfolk, take advantage of our offer of a free initial consultation to learn about your options and how our skilled car accident legal team can assist you. Fill out our online form to schedule your appointment today.