Don't Take the First Offer the Insurance Company Gives You
Oct. 10, 2022
In the aftermath of an accident, dealing with the adverse effects of the injury is not the only thing you should be worried about. You will also be forced to deal with the insurance company when seeking the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Dealing with insurance companies is not the most pleasant experience because insurers can be tricky. That is why it is never a good idea to take the first offer the insurance company gives you without consulting with an attorney first.
The personal injury attorneys at Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC can evaluate the insurer’s settlement offer to determine if you are getting the compensation you deserve. If the offer does not cover all of your damages, including future expenses, our attorneys in Rockville, Maryland, can help you negotiate a fair settlement for your injury claim. We provide personalized and reliable service to accident victims throughout the state of Maryland, including Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Fredrick counties.
Insurance Company’s Possible Response to an Accident Claim
A claimant may not know what responses to expect from the insurance company when filing a claim after an accident. Insurance adjusters use a variety of tactics to pay claimants as little as possible and deny personal injury claims whenever possible.
When dealing with insurers, it is critical to keep in mind that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company. No matter how friendly the adjuster may seem, that person is not on your side, nor is he/she looking out for your best interests. The only person who can make sure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation available for your injury claim is your attorney.
Most often, insurance companies use the following tactics when someone files a claim:
Avoidance. Insurance companies are known for their avoidance tactics. When you file a claim, you may not hear from the insurer for days or even weeks. In fact, getting any response from the insurance company could take a while. Insurers deliberately prolong the claims process in the hopes that you will give up or trick you into accepting the offer with a smaller settlement amount.
Offering quick and unfair compensation. This tactic is the complete opposite of avoidance because you may receive a settlement offer within days or even hours after your accident. However, it is not a good idea to accept the offer just yet. Insurance companies make quick settlement offers to prevent claimants from realizing the extent of their losses. Once you accept the offer, you automatically give up your right to pursue any further claims related to the injury.
It is vital to speak with an attorney to ensure that your rights and best interests are protected when dealing with insurance companies. Your attorney will be on your side to fight for fair and full compensation to which you are entitled.
Reasons You Should Refuse a Settlement Offer
Most people are tempted to accept the first settlement offer from an insurance company after an accident. The reasoning behind that temptation is understandable. You probably want to get it all over with and be able to pay your medical bills to ensure a speedy recovery. However, it may be a good idea to refuse a settlement offer because:
The first settlement offer is almost always a lowball. As a rule of thumb, the first offer the insurance company gives you almost never represents the fair value of what your claim is worth.
You may not know how much your claim is worth just yet. Most insurers hope that a claimant will accept the settlement offer before realizing the full extent of their losses and expenses. That is why insurance adjusters may offer a quick settlement that does not account for all your losses and damages.
You have not reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). It is never advisable to accept a settlement offer until you complete your medical treatment and reach what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement. Once you reach MMI and a doctor gives you an impairment rating, you will be able to determine your future losses and long-term costs associated with your injury.
Think twice before agreeing to take the first offer the insurance company gives you. The offer you accept is final and represents a release of liability. It means that you lose your right to pursue additional compensation for your injury in the future.
What Happens if You Don’t Accept the Insurer’s First Offer?
Contrary to popular belief, rejecting the insurance company’s first offer does not mean that you will not get any compensation at all. The first offer is the starting point of the negotiation process between you and the insurer. If you do not accept the first offer, here’s what happens:
You will submit a demand letter. An attorney can help you prepare a demand letter in which you reject the insurance company’s first offer and ask for more than the amount offered by the insurer.
Engage in settlement negotiations. Once the insurance company receives your demand letter, settlement negotiations will begin. The goal of the settlement negotiations is to get a better settlement offer than the first one.
Rejecting the insurer’s settlement offer may feel intimidating. That is why you must get legal counsel from a strategic attorney to assist you in pursuing the maximum possible settlement amount.
Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC Can Help You With Your Claim
If you receive the first offer from an insurance company, our attorneys at Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC can help you determine if you should accept or reject the offer. Our personal injury attorneys in Rockville, Maryland, will review your claim to help you understand how much your claim is worth and help you negotiate with the insurance company. Reach out to our office to get trusted legal guidance.