What You Should Do if You’re Offered an Insurance Settlement Check
When you are injured in an accident, you’re probably worried about all of the medical bills piling up, your other bills you need to pay, and not being able to work. That’s why when an insurance adjuster calls you, you’re likely to take the first offer they send you because they know you’re stressed out and in need of money. But is it the best thing to accept their initial offer? We go in depth about what you should do if you’re offered an insurance settlement check below:
Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best plan of action after you’ve been injured. They know everything about this field of law and are experts in negotiating with insurance adjusters because they do it every day. They know many of the tactics these companies will use to lower your offer, and they will fight for fair compensation.
If an insurance company reaches out to you, you should tell them you won’t speak to them without your attorney, and let a lawyer handle it. At the very least, never settle your claim without first speaking to a lawyer to see if the offer they are making you even seems fair.
Calculate Your Damages
Before you can evaluate any offer, you should need to calculate your damages. These include special damages, such as medical expenses, damage done to personal property such as a car, and lost wages. It can also include future wages and lost earning capacity. In addition to special damages, you should also consider general damages, which includes pain and suffering, shock, mental anguish, and emotional distress. The best thing you can do when it comes to keeping up with your expenses and earnings during your accident is to keep a record of everything. You’ll provide all of this information to your attorney, and they can help you come up with a fair number.
Do Not Accept an Insurance Settlement Check Immediately
At some point after your accident, the insurance adjuster will reach out and give you an offer. This initial offer will be low, because insurance companies want to pay out as little money as possible. These adjusters will use all kinds of negotiation tactics to try to get you to accept their insurance settlement check, but you shouldn’t accept it. You should consult with an attorney who can help you compare the damages you calculated to their offer, to see if it’s anywhere close to the amount you deserve.
What Happens in Negotiations
You may be wondering how personal injury lawyers handle negotiations of the insurance settlement check. After they help you determine your damages, your attorney may send a demand letter to the insurance company with the amount they have determined is fair. The insurance company will come back with a lower number, and then the lawyer will counter with another number that is lower than the original but higher than their offer. This countering may happen a few times before a decision is reached.
There are two ways negotiations can go. Your attorney and yourself can agree on a number with the insurance adjuster, and then you will receive a check. If they can’t agree, your case may go to court.
Now you know what you should and shouldn’t do when you are offered an insurance settlement check. Do you want to know more about this process? Speak with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers about your compensation today.