It takes only a few seconds for an accident to change your life. It may take you a significant amount of time to achieve a full recovery, if that’s even possible.
In the meantime, you incur medical bills, lose income from work and sustain other financial losses. After loyally paying premiums to your insurance company, you expect some loyalty in return by receiving a fair settlement of your claim. Unfortunately, like other insurance companies, the ones involved in your claim are in the business of making money. This means that the insurance company or companies will attempt to settle your claim for as little as possible.
Negotiating a better settlement
After you initiate a claim, don’t be surprised if the initial settlement offer is inadequate. More than likely, it may not even cover all of your current and future medical expenses. Know that you don’t have to accept this offer. Request an explanation from the adjuster for the amount offered.
Does the adjuster make good points? If so, then you may make a counteroffer lower than the amount you originally requested. This makes you look reasonable and indicates that you will negotiate in good faith. The insurance company may also count on you panicking as your bills pile up, which may make you accept an offer lower than you believe you deserve. It may be a challenge to be patient, but it could serve you in the end.
When you consider accepting a settlement offer
If you reach a point where you consider accepting an offer of settlement, keep the following in mind:
- How much would it cost to take your claim to court?
- How long would it take to resolve the matter in court?
- How much more money could you expect to receive through the court?
- How far apart are the amount you demanded and the offer?
The answers to these questions may guide your decision to accept the offer or not. Before making your final decision, it may benefit you to discuss the matter with an attorney. He or she can review the circumstances, the offer and the compensation you may be entitled to if you go through the courts and advise you from there. Far too many people make the mistake of accepting an offer that sounds good in the short term but leaves them with financial problems in the future.
Florida and federal law require your insurance company to deal with you in good faith. In order to ensure that happens, you may enlist help.