If you have been in any type of accident, whether it’s a car accident or a slip and fall incident, it will likely involve an insurance company. Insurance is a great way to protect your assets and limit liability. It also helps victims get money that might not otherwise be available.
However, insurance companies are in the business of making money, so for as many benefits as insurance offers, adjusters will often try to save money by settling personal injury cases for as little as possible. They sometimes take advantage of accident victims who have no idea how much their legal situation might be worth or what their losses over the long term may be.
You should be very skeptical if an insurance company offers you a settlement after your accident. Talk to an attorney to determine the actual value of your case.
How Does the Negotiation Process Work?
If you do not like the first settlement offer, you have the option to make a counteroffer. This offer is an agreement that you could live with that would still adequately address all of your losses. Then, the insurance company will likely come back to you with another offer. You can usually keep trading offers until you come to a number you can both accept, or you come to an impasse—you do not want go any lower, and the insurance company does not want to go any higher.
Sometimes this negotiation process takes place before you even file a lawsuit. In other circumstances, it will occur while you are preparing for trial. In a few cases, this type of negotiation will happen days or even hours before you are ready to go to trial.
Do I have to Settle My Personal Injury Case? What If I Want to Go to Trial?
It is important to keep in mind that you never have to settle your personal injury case. You are well within your rights to take your accident claim all the way to be heard in front of a jury made up of people in your community. In many situations, however, settling for a fair amount saves everyone time and money, and it gets you a “sure thing” instead of taking a gamble on a jury.
Settling doesn’t make sense in every case, and it certainly is not a good option if you think the settlement offer will not help you deal with all of the expenses related to your accident that will occur in the future. In most situations, the first settlement offer simply will not be something that makes sense for you in the long run.
Getting Help with Your Settlement
Chances are that accepting the first settlement offer that an insurance company provides will not get you a fair result. An experienced attorney will know the value of your case. Your lawyer can work with the insurance company to reach an acceptable number. If the insurance company is unreasonable, then your lawyer can help you take your case to trial.
Jack R. Sturgill, Attorney at Law, can help you with this process. Contact our firm today to learn more.