If you’re in the position of filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company following an accident or loss, we’d like to extend our condolences. We know this never happens unless there was an event that caused a great deal of pain, suffering, and loss.
To make matters worse, you may find that the insurance company has low-balled your claim and that they’re not taking your case seriously.
It’s always advised to seek legal expertise whenever filing an insurance claim for any accident or significant loss. From the demand letter to trial, an experienced attorney will help you navigate the process so your focus can go to getting your life back to normal.
Why is the insurance company low-balling me?
Reason #1 that people get a low-ball offer? They didn’t hire a lawyer.
People who go up against insurance companies by themselves invariably have the odds stacked against them.
Insurance companies employ some of the best lawyers in the world, who are tasked with two missions:
1) protect their employer and all other defendants against liability at any cost
2) settle as quickly and cheaply as possible
Where your legal knowledge is likely limited to your own case or one or two others, the insurance company’s lawyer will have seen hundreds or more. For you and your loved ones, your loss is very special and personal. To them, you are merely a statistic. However, this uphill battle is also your greatest potential asset. Their job depends on treating you like one more case among thousands. Your challenge is to demonstrate that you have a compelling, unique story to tell and that juries are likely to see you as a person deserving of compensation. This is how a qualified personal injury lawyer can help you.
The good news is that if you’ve filed a claim and received an initial offer that you know is too low to recover your losses, there’s usually still plenty of time to get a personal injury lawyer involved.
But isn’t it better to settle an insurance claim quickly?
To the insurance company, your loss is business as usual. They’re hoping to make you a quick, low offer and clear your case from their desk.
Very rarely will an insurance adjuster explain the mathematics of how they arrived at their initial offer, primarily because if they did it would boil down to, “This is the number we’re hoping will make you go away.”
If you don’t settle quickly, they may begin to use delay tactics to frustrate you, but this is by no means a reason to be pressured into settling before you’re ready.
They may refuse to pay medical bills they know you can’t afford and are due soon, or tell you that you have to submit to a recorded interview where you’re pressured to downplay the significance of your loss. However, none of these are reasons to settle your case for less than the full recovery of your losses.
What can I do if the insurance company starts to delay negotiations?
Hire a lawyer!
One of the first things an experienced lawyer will tell you when discussing your case is that most lawsuits take a long time to resolve. For some, it’s a matter of years. However, this isn’t necessarily bad news. There are many reasons why patience works to your advantage.
A qualified lawyer will use this time to collect evidence that accurately reflects your long-term damages. This will strengthen your case and give you the best chance of fully recovering your losses. The longer you take to prepare your case, the more time there is for long-term medical issues to surface.
All of this works in your favor. Mediators and juries are more likely to weigh in your favor if they see that you’ve exhausted all other alternatives and that there is justification for compensatory damages.
What if they’re pressuring me?
Again, hire a lawyer!
A seasoned lawyer can see insurance company tactics, typical to your case, from a mile away. They’ll be the main point of contact for all negotiations, thereby reducing how much pressure you’ll endure from the insurance company. This will allow you to focus on what’s most important – your recovery.
What if I already have a lawyer?
First of all, make sure you’ve hired an experienced lawyer. If your current council is suggesting you settle for less than what you think you deserve, you may need better representation. Find someone who fully understands the details of your case and knows the system well enough to recover enough losses to restore a sense of fairness in your life.
Filing a claim in Minnesota? Contact our firm and one of our attorneys will get back to you within 24 hours at no cost.