When you notify your insurance company of an accident, a claims adjuster will investigate the accident claim and offer a settlement. Many people don’t realize that their insurance may try to lowball the offer—after all, they’re paying the premiums.
When dealing with insurance companies, it’s important to exercise caution. Taking some time to consider the offer and contact an attorney can make a difference in how much you receive.
Evaluating an insurance settlement offer
Insurance settlement offers depend on the terms of your policy, how much damage and injury you suffered and whether you bore any fault for the accident. Typically, the first offer is on the low end: insurance companies have a vested interest in paying out as little as possible.
To determine whether the offer is reasonable, you should consider whether it will cover all accident-related costs. These include but are not limited to medical bills, vehicle damage, towing and more. If your injuries were minor, keep a running tab of your expenses and compare them to the offer and your policy limits.
If your injuries are serious, however, hiring an attorney can be a great help. Serious injuries often require ongoing or even lifetime expenses, such as physical therapy, mental health treatment, pain management, mobility devices and more. These type of injuries go beyond Florida’s no-fault insurance threshold, and victims may be entitled to recover more compensation than they would otherwise.
The key is not to accept an offer immediately, whether or not your injuries were serious. Do your research, contact a personal injury attorney and be prepared to justify why you’re asking for higher compensation. Negotiation can net better results than accepting a lowball offer.
For more information about negotiating insurance settlement offers and your legal options, reach out to an experienced Sarasota, FL auto accident lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.