Can You Appeal a Lowball Car Accident Settlement Offer?
Putting the pieces of your life back together after a car accident can be a challenge. You might be dealing with serious injuries, having to adjust your lifestyle, or contemplating a return to work.
After receiving evidence of your medical expenses and other damages, an insurance company will likely issue a settlement offer. However, it’s not uncommon for these companies to make a lowball offer. The good news is that you can appeal these offers.
Why Insurance Companies Make Lowball Offers
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. If they can get away with paying you less for a personal injury claim, they will not hesitate to do so. In the aftermath of an accident, they know you may be accumulating debt for medical care, and you might not be able to work.
Sensing a dire financial situation, an adjuster might assume you are so desperate for cash that you’ll accept whatever offer they make.
How to Appeal a Lowball Settlement Offer
1. Contact an Attorney
When dealing with insurance companies, it can feel like you’re outmatched. Once you have an attorney on your side, the tables can turn. Instead of bullying a single individual, insurance companies have to wrestle with someone familiar with their tactics and understands the law and your legal rights.
In fact, according to the Insurance Research Council, car accident victims represented by an attorney received settlements 3.5 times higher than people without legal representation.
2. Confirm the Offer is Genuinely Too Low
You might have had a dollar amount in mind that you believe the insurance company owes you. If the actual offer is lower than you anticipated, it’s normal to feel like you’ve been shorted.
Figuring out whether an offer is adequate or low requires understanding how the insurance adjuster arrived at the amount. If you are partially at fault in the eyes of the insurance company, it could drastically reduce the amount of your settlement. Alternatively, your damages might have been miscalculated.
An attorney can evaluate the insurance company’s rationale to determine whether there was an honest mistake or they’re acting in bad faith.
3. Gather Evidence to Support Your Personal Injury Claim
If the insurance company’s offer is low, it might be a simple case of them not having adequate or accurate information about your damages. Or, they may be mistaken about how fault should be apportioned. A car accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence required to prove the amount of compensation that is a fair reflection of your damages.
4. Begin Negotiations
After determining how much your case is worth based on the evidence, your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurance company refuses to budge, your attorney can prepare a lawsuit and represent your legal interests.
Other Tips for Dealing with a Lowball Settlement Offer
At The Foster Firm LLC, our legal team has more than 25 years of experience helping Georgia residents navigate personal injury claims. To help you avoid common mistakes we’ve seen during our careers, we recommend the following:
- Resist the temptation to accept a low settlement offer in hopes that you can get more money later. There’s no such thing as a “partial payment.” Once you accept an insurance company’s offer, there’s zero room for negotiation.
- Do not give in to pressure. Insurance companies know you’re vulnerable, and they can use delay tactics and low offers to bend your will. We encourage you to stay strong and fight for fair compensation.