After suffering injuries in a motor vehicle collision, the last thing you want to deal with is an obstructive insurance adjuster. Unfortunately, most of the time, while the insurance adjuster may feign caring, the insurer’s sole concern is its bottom-line. This is what creates such a power imbalance in personal injury negotiations. You are hurt. You are spending countless hours at the doctor and dealing with vehicle repairs. You need money. On the flipside, the insurance company is a multimillion (or billion) dollar corporation that only wants to please its investors. And, to do that, the employees tend to enter negotiations with a single mindset – settle for as little as possible no matter what.
There are many good reasons that an insurance company might start your case with a low offer. Perhaps you weren’t that hurt. Maybe you shared responsibility for causing the crash. There might even be documentation showing that you suffered similar injuries prior to the impact. These concerns are certainly valid and should impact the evaluation of a personal injury claim. However, much of the time, these considerations are moot, and the insurance adjuster continues to provide lowball settlement offers.
The ”why” is simple. If an insurance adjuster can settle a $10,000 case for $5,000, they look good to their boss and the company as a whole saves money. The insurance adjusters know that you need the money and don’t want to deal with the red-tape involved with making a proper insurance claim, and so they offer you just enough of a carrot to take the deal and sign away all your future rights.
The better question is how should you respond to these types of lowball settlement offers. Most of the time, the insurance company knows they can get away with their shady negotiation tactics because of the massive power and information imbalance. In other words, they have all the leverage. They have no deadlines. They don’t need the money. They know the system, and the adjusters are well versed in abusing it. Hiring a personal injury attorney is the first step towards restoring this imbalance. Experienced attorneys know the law even better than the insurance companies do, and while the insurance company may remain obstinate, the likelihood of a fair settlement raises dramatically if you have a qualified lawyer on your side.
Knowing the law and holding the insurance adjusters accountable for their abuses is one thing, but responding to a lowball offer is about organization also. Your attorney will gather and review all your relevant medical records. He or she may speak with your doctors to get supportive declarations. The lawyer will organize all your claimed damages into a succinct package so the insurance company cannot ignore parts of the claim. Providing the information is important, but presenting it in a way that the insurance company can easily follow is just as important.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the insurance claim process or the insurance adjusters are not playing fairly, call Magnuson Lowell PS for a free personal injury consultation. Our experienced and qualified litigators will help you understand your rights and hold the insurance company accountable for their lowball offers.