When you are injured in a car accident, you are suddenly confronted by many challenges. You have to juggle coordinating time off from work, transportation to and from medical appointments, and figuring out how much your health insurance will cover. In addition to all these hassles, you still have to manage your normal day-to-day responsibilities while recovering from your injury. One source of comfort to you might be knowing that you did everything you could to avoid the accident; therefore, you were not negligent.
Even though you did everything you could to avoid the accident, the other driver’s insurance company might contact you and make a shockingly low settlement offer. After thinking about it for a moment, you might be wondering if that offer is enough. In some instances, insurance companies might make you an offer that is unrealistically beneath what you are actually owed. This practice is called lowballing, and insurance companies are known to make lowball settlement offers all too often.
Five Ways Insurance Companies Try to Force You to Accept a Lowball Settlement Offer
If you have been injured in an accident, you should be aware of certain tactics used by insurance companies to get you to accept a lowball offer. The following are five ways insurance companies try to force you to accept a lowball settlement offer:
Their Offer Comes in Fast
Accidents are messy and chaotic, and so is the aftermath. First responders arrive at the scene, take statements, make sure victims get medical attention, and have crews clear off the mess. While the rush of an accident can occur in the blink of an eye, the resulting insurance claims process will take longer. If an insurance representative is meeting you in your hospital room the day of the accident and offers you a check, they are most likely rushing you and offering you an unfairly low settlement.
The longer they wait to contact you, the more time you have at your disposal to research your options and contact an expert attorney. You need time to understand the true value and extent of your injuries.
They Are Pressuring You
If an insurance adjuster knows that their claim is too low, they will pressure you to accept. This person may badger you or even intimidate you. They want you to accept the money and go away, and the lowball offer combined with pressure is a giveaway that the offer is not enough.
If you are being intimidated or pressured, stop communicating with the insurance representative. You should obtain legal representation to advocate for you.
They Will Not Explain the Math
After receiving a first offer, it is natural to have questions. A reasonable first question would include how they calculated your pain and suffering or how they estimated your medical expenses. These questions are especially important if that offer comes quickly after the accident.
If the adjuster dodges your questions or refuses to explain their estimate, it is because they are giving you a lowball offer. They want you to agree to waive your right to sue them. A good offer will make it easy for them to explain how they arrived at their number. Do not be afraid to negotiate. You should not have to fall into medical bankruptcy because an insurance company wanted to save a few dollars.
The Adjuster Ignores/Dismisses Evidence or Questions Your Injuries
If you submit medical bills, pictures, and other documents to the insurance company, and they choose not to factor them into the settlement amount, they are most likely not offering you a fair settlement. If the adjuster claims that the documentation is irrelevant, this is a red flag that you are being lowballed.
Insurance adjusters want to find any justification to reduce your settlement. The adjuster may hint that a pre-existing condition may have caused the accident, engage in manipulation to convince you that your injuries are not that serious, or tell you that you are wasting everyone’s time. If an insurance adjuster is not acting in good faith, you should hire a local attorney to help you understand the true cost of your recovery.
The Adjuster Blames You
You are the victim. The insurance company may try to place the blame for the accident on you. You should have a skilled attorney on your side who can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Premier Law Group Today
Premier Law Group boasts some of the best personal injury lawyers in the Seattle area. We have decades of combined experience negotiating with insurance companies and fighting for our clients. If you have been injured in an auto accident and believe that an insurance adjuster has offered you a lowball settlement, you can contact us online or call us at (206) 880-7518.