What Happens If I Reject a Settlement Offer?
Updated: Feb 24, 2022
It’s common for insurance companies to offer a settlement to the victim that seems unreasonably low. Typically, such low-ball offers don’t cover the person’s medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses incurred because of the accident.
While it is possible to reject the settlement offer provided, it’s best to talk with a motorcycle accident attorney first. Experienced lawyers can advise victims about how reasonable the proposal really is and help them take the right steps to request a new offer that’s fair.
Why Do Insurance Companies Submit Low-ball Offers?
The insurance company sometimes purposefully submits low offers to victims. They hope that the person is so desperate for money that they take anything and leave the business alone. Because it is a company, too, it wants to pay the victim less to make more money for itself.
Alternatively, some insurance companies make an honest mistake or overlook certain calculations that can make a large difference in the amount offered.
Victims may find this experience to be disheartening. They feel stuck and believe that they must accept whatever offer is provided to them. However, by accepting an offer that is too low, it hurts the victim and leaves them with many medical bills and other financial problems to work out alone.
There are options for victims, and a lawyer is the best step. They are there to guide the person through the process and get what they’re entitled to.
Reject Outright to Renegotiate
Once a victim rejects a settlement offer from an insurance company, it is dead. This means that the victim can’t change their mind later to accept it. Instead, it’s important to submit a counteroffer. That way, the victim is now the party submitting it, and the insurance company can choose to reject or accept it.
Though the media depicts it as being easy, it’s impossible to claim that an offer is unacceptable and scribble a new amount on a piece of paper or in an email. The victim must present appropriate evidence in the rejection letter that states why this initial offer is too low and why the counteroffer is more reasonable.
Typically, the evidence allowed can include documentation about lost wages, expenses, and medical/other bills. There could be relevant factors, such as pain and suffering losses or continuing/permanent disability. Those should be included, too.
Ultimately, the victim must assume that the other person’s insurance company is operating in good faith. It evaluates the new information provided and returns with a better settlement offer. It might not be the counteroffer exactly, but it should be closer.
Overcome the Take It/Leave It Offer
If the insurance company uses a heavy-handed approach, it might tell the victim to take or leave the offer presented. This situation often becomes complicated quickly.
Insurance companies use this tactic to intimate the victim and exert pressure on them into accepting the unreasonable offer. These people are often desperate to get money and hurt emotionally or physically, so they’re not aware of such poor methods. They could get pressured into accepting it.
While the approach is understandable, it is a bullying tactic, and no one has to accept less than what their claim is worth. The best way to win here is to keep good notes of any contact with the insurance company representatives. If the adjuster or representative acts in bad faith or inappropriately, it’s a serious violation of their ethics.
Regardless of the circumstances, the insurance company is required to complete an investigation and negotiate in good faith. If they don’t, they could be held liable and may be forced to pay punitive damages.
File a Lawsuit
Just because a victim files a lawsuit doesn’t mean they go to court. However, this step may be necessary if negotiations fail or the insurance company doesn’t cooperate.
Once the attorney files a lawsuit, they gather evidence to strengthen their client’s claim. If the attorney convinces the insurance company that their client could win if it goes to trial, it is more likely to go back to negotiations.
If the case goes to trial, the victim might get a larger settlement, especially if they can show that the offer was unreasonable or unfair.
Though each situation is different, victims must understand that they’re not required to accept a payout for their motorcycle accident if they feel it is too low. It’s best to work with an attorney like the ones at Powell Law Firm. These professionals understand the personal injury law and how to get their clients the most compensation.