At What Point In The Personal Injury Process Will The Insurance Company Generally Make A First Offer And Is That Offer Usually Fair?
If you are not represented by a lawyer, the insurance company will make you an offer within weeks of your accident—although it generally isn’t fair. They make an offer to try to close out your case and stop you from coming back for more money.
They try to send you a check, along with another important document called the release. Once you sign the release, your claim is over. The insurance company wants you to relinquish your case as quickly as possible. Closing your case out early isn’t fair and it doesn’t cover the full cost of your claim. It only benefits the insurance company. In our experience, these offers are never fair.
If The Insurance Company Offers Me A Settlement Right Away Upfront, Should I Take That Offer?
Generally, you shouldn’t accept an upfront offer from the insurance company. How do you know upfront what your full injuries are? How do you know what your case is worth? How do you know how much insurance is involved? These are all things you don’t know right away, but they need to know to settle the case fairly.
The insurance companies know they don’t have all the needed information upfront. They just want you to dismiss and drop your claim as quickly as possible. That’s never to your benefit.
There are times the only amount of insurance available is $10,000. The insurance company may look at your case and say, listen, we only got $10,000, here it is. If this is the case, and you come to talk to me, we’re not going to charge you any money at all. We’ll be honest and let you know that’s the most you’re going to get. It is vitally important to speak with a lawyer who is experienced in this area.
What Happens When You Can’t Get To A Reasonable Settlement Agreement With The Insurance Company? What’s The Next Step?
If we can’t come to a reasonable settlement amount, then the next step is filing a lawsuit. The good thing about this is it takes the claim out of the hands of the insurance company and puts it in the hands of an experienced lawyer. If you cannot reach an agreement with an insurance company, it has nothing to do with the quality of the lawyer you’re working with or the quality of your case. Filing a lawsuit just changes whom we’re talking to on the insurance company’s side. That’s what it all boils down to.
Sometimes you get a good adjuster. Sometimes you get a bad one. You file a lawsuit, and then your case is being reviewed by an experienced attorney, who we generally know. If you hire my firm, we’re working the case up as your claim progresses. We act as if the case is going to go to a lawsuit, making sure we have all the documents and medical records as the case progresses. By the time we reach this disagreement, we’ve reviewed every medical record you have, sent a lengthy demand letter—communication to the insurance company that outlines your case. We are more than ready to sue them if they can’t come up with a fair amount.
At What Point Should I Hire A Pensacola Personal Injury Attorney? Should I Wait Until The Insurance Company Denies A Claim Or Offers Any Settlement?
You should hire a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible after you’ve been injured in an accident. That’s what we’re here for. The attorneys who are honest, are not going to try to take money out of your pocket if the case is not worth the additional assistance of a lawyer. You should never have to worry about losing money out of your pocket for hiring a lawyer. It’s more common for us to reduce our fees to make sure that the client is made whole.
What Defenses Do Insurance Companies Use To Avoid Paying Out On Personal Injury Claims?
One defense the insurance company uses to avoid paying out on a personal injury claim is to delay the case. That’s tactic number 1. They delay the case, hoping you’ll take a smaller amount because it’s been going on for so long.
That’s the problem that our system creates—it allows the insurance companies to delay. If our legislature cared more about the citizens than insurance companies, that wouldn’t happen. The legislatures get a lot more money from insurance companies than they do the citizens of this State. Well just say that the insurance lobbyist are a frequent guest of a lot of politicians in Tallahassee.
The second tactic they use is smoke and mirrors. They’ll make big deals out of small things in your medical records or in your past. If you’ve previously had an injury to that area of your body, they’ll make a big deal about that. If you have a problematic neck and you get into an accident, what is the likelihood your neck’s going to get injured again? It’s pretty likely, and they’ll use that against you.
You’re fighting billion-dollar companies—that’s who is on the other side. Billion-dollar companies that have direct access to legislatures and other powerful people. Fighting them is not easy. You have to have a firm that’s experienced and understands that whole process.
For more information on Personal Injury Law in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 220-2098 today.
With Crawford Law, you gain an experienced and reliable team committed to getting your compensation, including:
Medical and rehabilitation expenses
Pain and suffering