Following an accident, the last thing you need to worry about is fighting with the insurance company to ensure you get the money you need for your injuries and losses. However, this scenario happens frequently. What's more surprising is that these companies will even offer their own insureds a lowball settlement simply because they do not want to pay more money than they have to.
Unfortunately, these deceitful practices often leave accident victims in a tough spot dealing with extensive bills and financial troubles, especially since many victims may not even realize they are being lowballed or know what they should do about it.
In the below blog post, to help you understand this situation better and what it can mean for you, we will go over the reasons why insurance companies lowball, the tactics they use, and how an experienced personal injury attorney can help you fight for the financial recovery you deserve.
The Insurance Company Offers a Lowball Offer Because They Want to Make a Profit
Although most people believe that the insurance company is there to support them following an accident and help them get the money they need, this is not how these companies operate. Insurance companies are a business, and like other businesses, they want to make a profit. By offering you less than you are entitled to, these insurers make money.
As a result, following an accident, an insurance adjuster will try to do everything they can to get you to admit fault for the accident or find anything they can to use against you so that they can lower the amount of compensation you receive. They may even try to get you on the phone shortly after your accident to get you to say something that can impact your case.
For these reasons, before you speak to the insurance company, you should discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. These lawyers can not only go over what you should and should not discuss with the insurer, but they can also take over these conversations on your behalf, ensuring you do not say something that can hurt your case.
The Insurance Company Offers a Lowball Offer Because They Use Computer Software to Determine Your Damages
Although insurance companies must consider each claim in good faith, due to the number of claims they receive, these companies often use computer software to handle these claims quickly. Based on these programs, an algorithm will try to compare a claim they receive with others to issue a settlement.
However, this software often results in unfair amounts, primarily because:
- The injuries are not all the same. Although accidents may be similar, the way individuals deal with injuries and how these injuries affect them are not the same. Yet, the software does not account for this, and it can lead to unfair compensation.
- The program was created to help insurance companies and not provide a fair offer to the victim. Consequently, the suggestions from this algorithm are often low and will not cover all of the expenses that follow an accident.
If an accident harmed you and you want to ensure that the computer-generated settlement is fair to you, reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can make sure to pursue a unique settlement offer that covers all of your losses.
The Insurance Company Offers a Lowball Settlement Because They Know That Many Individuals Will Accept This Offer
Following an accident, many insurance companies will offer a meager settlement when victims are most vulnerable because they know they will likely not verify whether this amount is fair to them. Rather, due to the substantial expenses that follow an accident, these victims will typically accept the money without asking any questions.
However, what generally happens in these instances is this lowball offer will barely cover any of the victim’s current expenses, let alone any future medical treatments. Yet, if the individual accepts this settlement offer, they cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more money, even if they realize at a later point in time that the amount did not cover all of their bills,
As a result, if the insurance company offers you a settlement amount, before accepting anything, you should discuss it with a skilled personal injury attorney. These lawyers can review this offer and figure out if it will cover everything you need it to, and if it doesn’t, they can go back to the insurer and negotiate for more money.
The Insurance Company Offers a Lowball Settlement Because They Do Not Believe the Severity of Your Injuries
After an accident, if people believe their injuries are minor, they may not get to a doctor right away to verify their trauma. However, in these situations, the insurer may decide that because the victim did not get to a doctor after their accident, their injuries are not severe or result from a subsequent event, leading to a lowball settlement offer.
However, when you get to a doctor shortly after your accident, these medical professionals can provide you with a medical report that can not only detail the extent of your injuries but provide you with evidence of a direct link between the harm you suffered and the accident in question. Ultimately, helping you show that the insurance company you are entitled to more money.
You should also note that even if you don’t believe your injuries are severe, they still may be. Some serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or brain trauma, can take time before symptoms manifest. Yet, the longer you wait to get these conditions checked out, the more debilitating they can become. Get to a doctor as soon as possible following your accident.
The Insurance Company Offers a Lowball Offer Because They Did Not Perform a Detailed Investigation
The insurance company will often perform its own investigation into the accident and account for the evidence you provide them before issuing a settlement offer. Consequently, if you do not have the evidence necessary to show the full extent of your losses and the insurance company does not perform a detailed investigation into the accident, they may issue a lowball offer that does not provide you with the money you need.
Thankfully, when you retain an experienced attorney after your accident, your lawyers can promptly get to work, gathering the valuable evidence to help your claim, including:
- Photos of your visible injuries
- Pictures of the accident scene and the damage done, such as traffic lights, traffic signs, skid marks on the road, street defects, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, and other obstructions that contributed to the accident
- Medical reports, police reports, and other investigation reports
- Witness testimony, and
- Any other evidence that can help your case
The Insurance Company Offers a Lowball Settlement Offer Because They Have Incriminating Statements From You About the Accident
The other side can use anything you say following an accident against you, especially the insurance company. For these reasons, as you talk to people after the accident, you need to make sure you watch what you say. This means that you do not want to take the blame for anything that happened, apologize, or make any definitive statements regarding the accident.
Even if you do not think these comments are harmful to your case, the insurer can use them to justify providing you a lowball offer because they will take them to mean you were somewhat at fault for the incident.
In addition, you also want to make sure you stay off social media and not post anything about the incident. Although this may seem like a great way to release some of this stress and frustration following the accident and connect to others that have been in a similar position, all it will do is provide the defense and the insurance company with a trail of evidence that they can use against you.
The Insurance Company Offers a Lowball Offer Because It Does Not Think You Will Get an Attorney Following the Accident
Following an accident, many people do not get an attorney because they feel they do not need one to secure a just settlement amount, it will cost too much, or it is too complicated to retain one. Yet, what they do not understand is that a personal injury attorney has the skills and the experience to take on these insurance companies.
They understand their deceitful practices and know when they are playing games or offering lowball settlements. More importantly, they also know how to handle negotiations with these companies and fight for a fair amount that is in your best interest.
When you hire an attorney following the accident, the insurance company knows they will not be able to get away with offering you a low settlement amount. If they do, they know your attorney may decide it is best to fight this settlement offer and create a lot more headaches for the insurer, including going to trial.
The Insurance Company Offers a Lowball Offer Because They Are Acting in Bad Faith
Bad faith insurance refers to an insurance company's attempt to go back on its obligations. They do this by either refusing to investigate an accident, failing to process a claim within a reasonable time, or refusing to pay a legitimate claim.
These companies also act in bad faith when they misrepresent contract language to avoid paying a claim or make unreasonable demands.
While there are regulations against these bad faith practices, they still do happen, and insurance companies will offer a victim of an accident a lowball offer, regardless of the circumstances and the facts at hand. Unfortunately, figuring out whether the insurance company is acting in bad faith is not always obvious. For these reasons, it may be beneficial to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure the insurance company is held accountable for their actions and obtain the fair compensation you deserve.
Fight for the Damages and Justice You Deserve With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney on Your Team
Following an accident, you already have enough on your plate. Don't worry about playing games with the insurance company and falling for their dishonest practices. Fortunately, when you retain an experienced personal injury attorney to take on your case, you will not have to.
After you hire a lawyer, they can:
- Review the accident and what happened with you in detail, determine if you have a viable case, and help you understand your legal options.
- Provide you with the legal support you require through every step of this legal process and go over your questions and concerns.
- Analyze the accident and obtain the evidence needed to show what happened, who was at fault, and the extent of your damages.
- Hire experts to substantiate your claim, including medical care providers, accident reconstructionists, and financial specialists.
- Ensure your legal motions and documents are prepared correctly and filed before the statute of limitations runs out.
- Handle all the settlement negotiations with the other side and the insurer and fight for a just offer that is fair to you.
- Proceed to trial and go after maximum financial damages if the insurance company won't pay you the money you need.