What Happens if I Reject a Settlement Offer?
It's a common practice for insurance companies to offer a meager settlement amount. These minuscule offerings generally don't cover hospital bills, let alone other expenses or lost wages.
A person can reject a settlement offer, but it is recommended to contact an attorney first. An experienced professional car accident lawyer in St Louis from Powell Law Firm can offer legal advice and guidance concerning the matter.
Why Do Insurance Companies Submit Terrible Settlement Offers?
It's good to remember that insurance companies are businesses, so the less they pay out in a settlement, the more profit they make. In most cases, the company makes lowball offers to persuade desperate individuals in the hope that they leave it alone.
That can be disheartening, to say the least, and leave people stuck believing that they need to accept the offer presented to them. Taking a low offer could leave a large sum of money out of the table for the injured party.
However, there are many options to take, and with the right attorney, the process can become much easier for the victim.
Reject and Negotiate
Once a person rejects an offer from the insurance company, the request is considered "dead," which means it can't be changed later. Instead, a counteroffer must be sent, which means the victim is now submitting the offer, and it's up to the insurance company to reject or accept it.
It is good to note that someone cannot simply say an offer is unacceptable and demand the amount they want without a reasonable explanation. There needs to be evidence in a rejection letter showing why the initial offerings were too little and explaining why the counteroffer is reasonable.
This evidence needs to include receipts for all expenses such as lost wages, medical bills, and other relevant factors regarding the injury.
Assuming the insurance company is negotiating fairly, it evaluates the new information and returns an updated offer.
Overcome a "Take It or Leave It" Offer
When an insurance company tells a person to "take it or leave it," the situation becomes rather complex. It is common for insurance companies to intimidate and exert pressure on a person to accept something unreasonable.
If someone is desperate for cash, hurting emotionally, or not aware of these underhand tactics, they might feel pressured into accepting the offer.
While this approach is understandable, nobody needs to be bullied into accepting a lower amount than what is due. If a representative or adjuster has acted in bad faith or inappropriately, it's a severe violation. The best way to combat this is to keep scrupulous notes of any contact had with the insurance company.
No matter the situation, people in an insurance company are required to complete their negotiations and investigate in good faith. These individuals could be subject to punitive damages and held liable in court for failing to uphold this duty.
That would not be an ideal outcome for the insurance company, so it’s vital to keep that in mind when the victim is getting bullied into accepting an offer.
File a Lawsuit
The last thing to do is file a lawsuit. Nobody wants to go through the entire process, but it becomes necessary when all talks fail and there is no cooperation from the insurance company.
To strengthen the claim, an attorney needs to gather evidence and convince the insurance company that it's going to return to negotiations if the case goes to trial. If the personal injury case does go to trial, a more significant settlement could be paid out, especially if the insurance company is unwilling to cooperate.
It’s important to remember that every situation is different, so speaking to the right attorney is essential to find more information regarding settlement offer rejection. Additionally, victims must keep in mind that there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits, and some insurance companies may stall in the hopes of this scenario.
Hiring a lawyer for a settlement negotiation should be the first consideration a victim must take after an accident. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they don't get paid unless the victim does.
Being presented with a settlement offer that is not adequate is something no one wants to go through. It's important to receive fair compensation for any personal injury or trauma caused by another person. Victims may let the Powell Law Firm assist in taking the individual injury case to court and claiming the deserved compensation.