An insurance company may contact you soon after an accident to make you a quick settlement offer. You may be eager to take the money and start covering your losses. However, you should never accept that first offer. It is almost always a “lowball” offer that will not cover all your past and future damages.
7 Signs the Insurance Company is Low-Balling You
Insurance companies want to eliminate personal injury claims quickly and cheaply. They are only interested in making money and will do so by whatever means necessary – even if that means denying your claim or lowballing your settlement offer.
1. They Ignore Your Injuries
Your injuries will involve economic as well as non-economic damages. Economic damages are easily quantified as out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills. Non-economic damages are more subjective, like pain and suffering. If the insurance company does not consider your pain and suffering or how your injuries have impacted your way of life, they are not paying you enough compensation.
2. They Don’t Consider Future Medical Expenses
While it’s common for an insurance settlement offer to exclude non-economic costs like pain and suffering, they may also make you an offer that doesn’t consider future economic expenses. The insurance company may present you with a compensation package that includes all your current medical bills. However, if you are still experiencing symptoms, you need to consider future medical treatment. Often, future medical costs can be extensive.
3. They Don’t Consider Your Lost Wages and Benefits Used
You are entitled to compensation for 100% of your lost wages and benefits used, including paid time off, vacation time, sick leave, etc. Insurance companies often exclude these costs because they can be substantial, especially if you are a high earner.
4. The Offer Comes Too Fast
You might want to settle your claim quickly; however, you shouldn’t accept an immediate offer. Offers before your claim is adequately evaluated will certainly not consider all your losses. Once you accept an offer, you cannot pursue more later. Don’t settle unless the offer includes money for all your medical bills, future medical needs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
5. They Pressure You to Settle
The insurance adjuster who calls may pressure you to take a settlement offer immediately. They don’t want you to rack up bills and lost wages that they will have to include in a fair settlement. The more they contact you, the more likely they are to be making a lowball offer.
6. They Ignore You & Stay Silent
Some insurance companies don’t want to settle at all. They may try to ignore your contact. This is a delay tactic that they are using to run the clock out. In Michigan, you only have three years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you go over that statute of limitations, you forfeit your ability to get any compensation.
7. They Try to Blame You
If the insurance company denies your claim and blames you for the accident, they are trying to avoid liability for your damages. Incidents like car accidents, truck accidents, and motor vehicle accidents are common targets for insurance companies to shift the blame. They may even blame you but make a lowball offer to get you to go away. Don’t fall for these tactics. Consult a personal injury attorney who can hold the at-fault person responsible.
What to Do If You Get a Lowball Offer
If you get a lowball settlement offer from the insurance company, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney. You need to gather evidence that proves their insured was at fault and present information about the total value of your claim.
Your lawyer will need documentation about all your medical bills, time off work, and other damages. An experienced attorney will know what to look for and how to use the evidence to support your claim.
Your best option when dealing with insurance companies is to allow your attorney to handle all communications. They are skilled at negotiation and will help you get the maximum compensation possible.
Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC Is Ready to Help You
If you were in an accident caused by someone else, you should immediately reach out to a personal injury lawyer who will help you figure out how much your claim is worth. If the insurance company contacts you with a lowball offer, you can direct them to your attorney instead of dealing with the stress yourself.