Settlement offers and insurance companies: are you getting a fair deal?

Insurance companies adjust automobile accidents on a daily basis, most clients do not.

So how do you know if an offer is fair following an injury accident?

Simply stated, you generally don’t.

Information is power, and when you work from an information disadvantage, you lose the leverage and bargaining power to level the playing field.

Insurance companies for the other driver have no duty to treat you fairly, advise you of your rights, or even tell you what types of injuires or damages are recoverable. Often times the adjuster doesn’t know either.

The adjuster’s job is simple: pay the least amount possible as quickly as possible.

The insurance company knows you’re at a disadvantage, and the longer the claim does not settle, the more time you have to educate yourself, understand the full scope of your damages, or worse, hire an attorney.

That nagging back pain after the accident may be indicative of a much bigger medical problem, but if you settled the claim quickly, you’re forever barred from recovering additional funds for future medical care.

Loose a promotion because you took time off to recover? A quick and cheap settlement protects the insurance company from paying your lost wages.

These are just a few of the pitfalls clients encounter when pressured into a quick settlement.

Other issues may not be readily known: is there additional coverage? Does the at-fault driver have a history of accidents? Can you negotiate a reduction of your medical bills to put more money in your pocket towards recovery?

It’s difficult to negotiate a fair settlement without knowing all the issues involved and the type and scope of damages you’re entitled to.

Negotiations with insurance companies involve a series of complex issues that may not be readily apparent when the adjuster is calling with a low ball offer.

Be smart. Consult friends, use the Internet, and call an attorney. Most attorneys will give you a free assessment, and hiring an attorney often moves the claim to a more experienced adjuster, and frequently results in a better result for the client.

Attorneys are your advocate and provide valuable guidance about how to navigate encounters, not only the insurance company, but the multitude of medical billing issues that typically follow a motor vehicle accident.

If you have questions about an auto accident, or the value of a claim, call the attorneys at Bryan & Terrill, 918-935-2777 or 970-736-7171.