Facing an insurance settlement offer that feels insultingly low can add insult to injury, literally. After enduring the ordeal of a serious injury, it’s only natural to seek fair compensation that covers medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses. Yet, the initial offer from insurance companies often falls short of expectations, leaving many to wonder, “What now?”

As Utah personal injury lawyers, we’ve guided countless clients through this very predicament. Let’s explore actionable steps you can take if you find yourself staring down an inadequate insurance settlement offer.

Understanding the Offer

The first step in contesting a low offer is to review it meticulously. Insurers often issue lowball offers in hopes that claimants, eager to move past the incident, will accept less than they deserve. Many injury victims may not even know it’s possible to negotiate an offer.

Several factors can contribute to a reduced offer, including insufficient evidence of your losses, questions about your role in the incident, and policy limits.

Insurers base their compensation on the evidence provided, so if your medical documentation does not thoroughly detail the extent of your injuries and the treatments received and anticipated, the offer may be lower than warranted. For example, if you’ve suffered a back injury but only have initial emergency room documentation without follow-up visits to a specialist or records of ongoing physical therapy, the insurer might not fully appreciate the injury’s severity and impact on your life.

Another critical factor is comparative negligence, a concept that evaluates the claimant’s role in the incident. Under Utah’s modified comparative negligence rule, if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your settlement offer may be reduced accordingly. For example, if you slipped and fell in a store but were texting at the time of the accident, the insurance company might argue that your lack of attention to your surroundings contributed to the incident. If it’s determined you were 30% at fault, your settlement could be reduced by that percentage.

Finally, check your insurance policy’s coverage limits. The offer could be the maximum amount available, regardless of the actual value of your claim. A lawyer can help you explore what additional coverages may be available, if you are unsure.

Understanding the above factors is the first step toward crafting a response that accurately addresses and counters the insurer’s position, laying the groundwork for a fairer settlement.

Gathering Additional Evidence

Strengthening your claim with comprehensive evidence is your next move. This could include:

  • Medical Records:Obtain comprehensive medical records documenting the full extent of your injuries, treatment plans, and any ongoing care needs. Doctor’s notes on your pain and suffering are especially important.
  • Evidence of Lost Wages:Gather documentation like pay stubs, tax returns, and employer statements to support claims of lost income and future lost earning potential.
  • Bills and Receipts:Keep records of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, out-of-pocket costs for medication or mobility equipment, and property repair or replacement costs.
  • Witness Statements:If anyone witnessed the accident or the aftermath, their statements can help establish liability and the severity of the incident.
  • Expert Testimony:Depending on the complexity of your case, expert witnesses (such as medical specialists, accident reconstruction specialists, or economists) may help assess the full extent of your damages.

This additional evidence not only supports your case but also signals to the insurance company your seriousness about obtaining a fair settlement.

Crafting a Strategic Response

Writing a response to the initial offer is delicate work. It should articulate why the offer is inadequate, backed by the evidence you’ve gathered. Including a counteroffer, calculated based on a thorough assessment of your damages, strengthens your position.

Given the complexities involved in writing a demand letter, seeking legal assistance for this step is often in your best interest. Experienced personal injury lawyers can ensure your counteroffer is compelling and reflective of the full extent of your damages. They possess the negotiation skills required to engage with insurers effectively, advocating on your behalf.

Considering Legal Action

While most personal injury claims are settled out of court, litigation remains a viable option when negotiations stall. Going to court can be a daunting prospect, and it’s rare for personal injury cases to reach this stage. However, it’s an important leverage point in negotiations. The prospect of a lawsuit can motivate insurers to offer a more reasonable settlement to avoid the unpredictability of a trial.

Engaging personal injury lawyers experienced in litigation is crucial here. They can navigate the legal system on your behalf, presenting your case compellingly before a judge or jury if necessary.

Let Us Fight for You

Confronting a low insurance settlement offer is a challenge you shouldn’t face alone. The intricacies of personal injury law and the tactics employed by insurance companies necessitate professional guidance. If you’re dealing with an unsatisfactory offer, reaching out to Great West Injury Law can be the turning point in your claim. Our team of Utah personal injury lawyers is well-versed in negotiating with insurance companies and will fight tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.

Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Contact Great West Injury Law today to take the first step towards securing a fair settlement.