Following an automobile or truck accident, the negligent party’s insurance company will oftentimes propose a settlement in advance of litigation. Regretfully, these offers tend to be significantly lower than the compensation a plaintiff’s attorney has told their client they should expect.
The Reason for a Low-Ball Offer
In a vehicle accident injury lawsuit, there is no one method for determining damages. Instead, insurance firms use their own proprietary algorithms for assessing losses, which are designed to pay out as little money as possible in any given situation. And, because insurance firms do not reveal their formulae, it is nearly impossible to know why a specific amount is offered. However, by analyzing the following elements, attorneys at Turner and Turner can help determine a fair sense of their cognitive process.
Damages Taken into Account
After an automobile accident, you may be entitled to a number of various sorts of compensation, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Damage to property
- Suffering and pain
Each of these damages will be taken into account by the insurance company when making a settlement offer. They may, however, have a different notion than you about how much it should cost to fix your automobile, or how much you should be compensated for pain and suffering. Many first compensation offers, in fact, do not account for pain and suffering whatsoever.
Setting the Reserve
Your insurance company will try to estimate the amount they will have to pay on your claim as soon as you report an accident to them. The “reserve” is the name given to this estimate. The insurance company benefits from setting the reserve early in the case. It also allows them to value the case before you know how much your entire medical treatment will cost, whether you will be left with chronic pain or other lingering symptoms; and how much pain and suffering you will experience.
Once the reserve has been established, convincing the insurance carrier to consider further damages is extremely difficult.
An insurance company will not pay out more than the policy limit, no matter how expensive your medical costs are, or how much compensation you receive. So, if your losses total $100,000 but the “at-fault” party’s policy only covers $50,000, your settlement offer will be capped at $50,000.
If Your Settlement Offer is Insufficient
If you feel a settlement offer is too low, you should contact an experienced accident lawyer at Turner and Turner soon as possible. We can work with the insurance carrier, persuading them to make a more reasonable and appropriate offer to cover your present and future damages. If negotiations fail, we can proceed with bringing an action against them in court. If your damages exceed the policy limitations, we can investigate the potential of suing the at-fault party for further damages directly, in addition to their insurance carrier.