If you plan on filing a personal injury claim, it’s unreasonable to expect the liable party’s insurance adjuster to value your case as highly as you do. After all, their primary goal is in direct opposition with your own.
Whereas you want to secure enough compensation to regain your financial footing in the wake of the accident, the insurer wants to protect their bottom line. As such, you should be prepared for them to start the negotiations with a lowball offer.
Thankfully, you don’t actually have to accept the offer. As long as you have legitimate grounds for action and the evidence to support as much, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to pursue a satisfactory settlement.
After receiving a laughable offer, you can change the tone of the negotiations by taking the following steps:
1. Determine What Portion of Damages Were Overlooked
How did the carrier justify their lowball offer? Do they think you’re exaggerating your injuries? Are they convinced the policyholder only played a small role in the incident?
Since their offer probably won’t include an itemized list of damages and their corresponding amounts, you’ll likely have to reach out to them to get some clarification. Thankfully, this is something your legal team will be happy to do on your behalf.
2. Compile Additional Evidence to Bolster Your Claim
Once you’ve determined which damages the opposing party overlooked when calculating their offer, you’ll know how to supplement your claim. If they think you’re exaggerating your injuries, for example, you can present additional evidence of your condition, including hospital logs, psychological evaluations, and photographs of any visible wounds.
If, on the other hand, they think you played a significant role in the accident, you may need to present more video footage, eyewitness testimony, and official reports that place blame on the policyholder.
3. Submit a Counteroffer
Your response to the insurance adjuster’s offer should include a counteroffer. A strategic personal injury attorney will help you determine precisely how much to come back with so the proceedings turn in your favor.
Countering with too low an offer could leave you with an unfair settlement. Countering with an offer that’s too high, on the other hand, could result in an all-out rejection, forcing you to file a formal lawsuit.
At the end of the day, insurance adjusters are essentially professional negotiators, so it’s unwise to take them on alone. By turning to a seasoned lawyer for representation, you can level the playing field, because you’ll have your own professional negotiator going to bat for you.
Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Attorney in St. Cloud
At Bradshaw & Bryant, we’re determined to see every claim through to the end. That means if the opposing party refuses to offer a fair settlement, we’re fully prepared to proceed to trial.
If you were seriously hurt through no fault of your own, let us handle the logistics of your case so you can focus on your recovery. To schedule a free case review with a personal injury lawyer in St. Cloud, call 320-259-5414 or complete our Contact Form.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.