December 16th, 2021
If you were hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you are usually entitled to monetary compensation. In most cases, your injuries will be covered by insurance. But arriving at a fair personal injury settlement value can be a long and difficult process, and you may not know if the offer you received is fair.
The Insurance Claims Process in a Personal Injury Settlement
When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company assigns a claim number and an adjuster. The insurance adjuster’s goal is to pay you as little as possible for your claim. This is just one way that insurance companies make money. By paying out as little as possible on insurance claims, they maximize profits for shareholders.
When evaluating your claim, the adjuster will have little regard for your personal circumstances, your feelings, or how the injuries you sustained have impacted your life. Instead, they will focus on the bottom line and determining the least amount of money they can pay you to make the claim go away.
To calculate a settlement value, the adjuster will look at similar cases where people sustained injuries like yours. They will analyze settlement values and jury verdicts to determine what they believe will be a fair settlement. Unfortunately, what the adjuster believes is a fair settlement value does not often match with what you believe is a fair settlement for your case.
To ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement for your claim, you will often need to engage in lengthy and sometimes contentious negotiations before ultimately arriving at a settlement.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself and maximize your financial recovery.
Protect Yourself and Maximize Your Financial Recovery After a Personal Injury
If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, there are things you can do to protect your rights and receive the compensation you deserve.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure that you receive a fair settlement for your injury case is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Muth Law, P.C., our lawyers know how to maximize results by presenting your case in a way that will highlight the impact the accident has had on you.
Our attorneys will present your version of the events and advise you on how to move through the settlement negotiation process. As lawyers, we have extensive experience negotiating personal injury settlements and know how to maximize results.
We will draw on our years of experience handling personal injury cases and negotiating settlements with insurance companies. For most people, an accident claim is their first time negotiating with an insurance adjuster. But personal injury attorneys negotiate with insurance adjusters every day. We know how much similar cases have settled for, how to leverage the situation to your advantage, and how to maximize your recovery.
Do Not Take the First Offer
In all but a few circumstances, you should never accept the insurance adjuster’s initial offer. Arriving at a settlement is a negotiation. Just like when you sell a house or buy a car, the adjuster will almost never make their best offer first, no matter what they tell you.
When a claim comes in, the insurance company sets a limit on what they will pay to settle the claim. When they make their first offer, they almost always leave room to negotiate. This means that, despite what they may tell you, the first offer is rarely the best offer.
Make the Adjuster Justify the Offer
The insurance company’s objective in the negotiation is to pay you as little as possible. Just like your lawyer, they will have evaluated similar cases to yours and arrived at a figure that they think is fair. Before accepting a settlement offer, ask the adjuster to explain how they arrived at the offer and the factors that entered into their decision.
Also, remember that a settlement is largely based on what the insurance company thinks a jury would do with the case at trial. But, because very few insurance adjusters have tried a personal injury case, they may not know how your case would appeal to a jury and why the verdict in your case could be significantly higher.
If the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer and your lawyer takes your case to trial, he will spell out for the jury exactly why he thinks your case is worth what he is asking for. He will lay out calculations for past and future medical expenses, calculate your pain and suffering, and ask the jury to return a verdict in your favor for a significant amount of money.
For the settlement offer to be reasonable, the insurance adjuster needs to account for all of these factors.
Confirm the Settlement Amount in Writing
Once your lawyer has negotiated with the insurance adjuster and arrived at a settlement value that you all agree is fair, he will confirm the terms of the settlement in writing so the insurance company cannot claim that no such offer was made.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
At Muth Law, our lawyers have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of people throughout the state of Michigan who have been injured because someone else was negligent. We understand that there are many factors that determine whether a settlement offer is fair, and we know how to present your case in a way that will maximize your financial recovery.
In many cases, the insurance adjuster’s first offer does not account for additional factors like lifelong difficulties you may experience because of the accident. These can cause long-term suffering that will diminish your quality of life, and you deserve to be compensated. An attorney will help translate these non-economic losses into financial terms that the insurance adjuster will understand.
In addition, working with an experienced attorney provides leverage. The simple fact is that if the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable offer, you can take them to court and force them to pay.
Muth Law: Justice for the Injured
If you have been hurt because someone else was negligent, Muth Law can help. After we evaluate your case, we will present a settlement demand to the insurance company. We will try to negotiate a full and fair settlement for your injuries. And if the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, we will take your case to trial.
We invite you to learn more about us and the people we represent. Then contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help. Call us anytime at 734-481-8800, email us at email@example.com, or complete our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.