Are you in the middle of trying to settle a car accident claim with your insurance company? If you haven’t already received your first offer, be prepared to be lowballed to the extreme. This is especially true in comparative negligence cases, where your settlement is reduced by a certain percentage based on how much you were at fault.
Insurance adjusters have one goal, and that is to pay as little as possible on all claims after a car accident. Some adjusters go as far as to deny perfectly valid claims in order to keep the profits in the company’s pocket.
Are you prepared to negotiate?
If you think you can work your insurance adjuster with your amazing negotiating skills, think again. Even if you happen to be the top negotiator in the world, you’ll never negotiate beyond a certain amount. Insurance adjusters are given a maximum payout for every case and they don’t have the power to change that.
The better option is to speak with an attorney about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries. A lawsuit is ideal because you have a better chance of receiving the amount of compensation you truly deserve.
When you negotiate with an insurance claims adjuster, you’ll expend an enormous amount of time and effort just to get a fraction of what you could get from a lawsuit. A skilled personal injury attorney will know what your case is worth and will fight for what’s right.
A lawsuit can get you additional compensation
Another benefit to rejecting an offer and filing a lawsuit is the ability to recover additional forms of compensation. An insurance claim will only pay for your medical bills and possibly lost wages. You’ll be on your own for pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
An attorney will fight for additional non-economic compensation relevant to your case, including:
· Pain and suffering, including emotional anguish. Pain doesn’t always go away when your medical bills are paid off. If your injuries are severe, you could be in pain for weeks, months, or even years. You deserve to be compensated for all of your pain.
· Humiliation and damage to your reputation. If your injury affects your social standing or your reputation at work, you might feel humiliated or ashamed. This isn’t fair to you, and if your case qualifies for these damages, a lawyer will fight hard to get you fairly compensated.
· Loss of enjoyment of life. This is when an injury prevents you from pursuing things in life that you used to enjoy. For instance, if you’re a painter and you lost your dominant arm in your accident, you’d likely qualify for this form of compensation.
· Disfigurement. Becoming disfigured can be a traumatizing experience, especially if you relied on your appearance to perform your line of work. If you’ve been disfigured, your attorney will fight hard to get you this extra compensation.
· Mental injuries like stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Mental trauma can be just as damaging as physical trauma and sometimes it can be worse. This type of compensation requires extensive proof and documentation, but it’s possible to win.
Accepting a claim means you can’t file a lawsuit
Be careful about accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company; once you sign the paperwork, you’ll lose your right to sue. Your case could be worth far more than your settlement offer, in which case you’ll miss out on a significant amount of compensation.
Before accepting an insurance settlement offer, talk to an attorney. Even if you end up not having a strong case for a lawsuit, just speaking with an attorney will give you insight into whether or not the offer is fair. You can hire an attorney just for this purpose, and it could end up getting you thousands more than you were originally offered. You can even hire an attorney to negotiate with the insurance claims adjuster on your behalf.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve
Being injured is a traumatic experience that comes with physical and emotional pain. Going through the healing process takes time and you don’t need any additional stress or worries to drag you down.
Getting rightfully compensated for all you’ve gone through will help you pay medical bills, cover personal expenses, and keep you from draining your savings account just to make ends meet while you can’t work.
Think it over with an attorney before accepting an insurance settlement offer. If there’s any chance you can recover more compensation through a lawsuit, you’ll be happier pursuing that option.