Misconceptions About Rejecting a Settlement Offer After a Car Crash

putting hands up and refusing a penCar crash victims are often afraid to reject a settlement offer made by the insurance company. They may think that if they reject a settlement offer, they will not get any compensation for their damages. This could be because the insurance company made some misleading statements. There are also a lot of common misconceptions that people believe about the legal process.

Below, we discuss what it means for a crash victim to reject a settlement offer and why rejecting the first settlement offer is the best move. The first settlement offer from the insurance company is always far below the full value of the victim’s damages.

At TSR Injury Law, we have secured favorable settlements for car crash victims for more than two decades. Our services come at no upfront costs. There is also no obligation to take legal action after the initial consultation with one of our licensed attorneys.

Contact TSR Injury Law today to discuss your claim: (612) TSR-TIME.

What You Need to Know About Rejecting a Settlement Offer

The first settlement offer that insurance companies make is often far less than the full value of your claim. It may be tempting to accept this offer because you know you will get compensation.

However, once you accept a settlement offer you cannot recover any more compensation. You do not want to be left paying for your damages out of your own pocket. That is why it is always best to reject the first settlement offer.

Rejecting a settlement offer does not mean your claim is closed. In fact, rejecting a settlement offer is just the beginning of negotiations.

You may be able to get the insurance company to offer more compensation, especially if you hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. You want a lawyer with courtroom experience, so the insurance company knows you are serious about getting more compensation and they understand the consequences of not making a fair offer.

Our attorneys understand that crash victims often have many questions about their rights, legal options and the value of their claims. We know how to answer these questions and an initial consultation with one of our lawyers is free of charge.

Should You Reject a Settlement Offer on Your Own?

Although you are within your rights to reject a settlement offer, you should not do so alone. It is better to discuss the situation with an attorney and allow him or her to reject the offer on your behalf, if rejecting the offer is the best course of action.

If you reject an offer on your own, the insurance company may ignore you and not negotiate in good faith.  There is no fear of a lawsuit and yelling at the defense attorney for a fair offer will not work.   There is a better chance of receiving a follow-up offer if you are represented by an experienced attorney.

How Do You Know if a Settlement Offer is Inadequate?

This is a complex question, and you need to know a lot of information to come up with an answer. It is difficult for crash victims to gather all the relevant information and analyze it appropriately. That is why you should give serious consideration to talking to a lawyer about it.

If a claim is not worth a significant amount of money, the victim may be able to get full compensation from the insurance company on his or her own.  A thousand-dollar claim is still worth the same with a lawyer.

However, if you need significant compensation for your damages, you need experienced legal help. In these situations, insurance companies are highly unlikely to make a fair offer. The first offer is very likely to be far below the value of your claim. You may need tens of thousands of dollars for medical treatment and lost earning capacity, but the insurance company may only offer $5,000.

One of the benefits of working with an experienced lawyer is that he or she has handled claims that are like yours and know the true value of the claim based on hundreds of other cases that are similar and settled over time. This provides an experienced attorney invaluable insight into determining what your claim may be worth.

Dangers of Accepting a Settlement Offer

Sometimes insurance companies lead victims to believe they are going to receive full payment of their claim later. For example, you may sign a document and receive some money from the insurance company with the assurance that more will be coming.

However, this is not true because once you sign a settlement offer, you sign away your right to try to obtain more compensation from the insurance company, either through a settlement or a lawsuit.  Some insurance companies are notorious for offering a few thousand and suggesting you call back if more is needed later.  This is not the law and once a release is signed, there is no “call back later” compensation.

If you have any questions about a settlement offer or think that rejecting the offer and holding out for more money is the best option, you should discuss it with a licensed attorney. While compensation cannot change what happened in the crash, recovering full compensation is so important in the aftermath of a serious injury. Your life has been turned upside down and without full compensation, it is going to be very difficult to move forward.

Call to Set Up Your Free Legal Consultation

You may think you can handle a car crash claim on your own. However, there are a lot of things you may not have considered. Your injuries could be worse than you realize. If the insurance company does not offer enough compensation, it is going to be very difficult to get them to make a better offer without a lawyer.

It costs nothing to discuss your legal options in a free consultation with a Bloomington car accident lawyer from TSR Injury Law. We also do not get paid unless our clients get paid.

Free consultation. Millions recovered. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Why is the First Settlement Offer Often So Low?

signing documents at tableThe insurance company may sometimes surprise car crash victims by quickly offering a settlement. The insurance adjuster may say it is because he or she wants to resolve the claim as quickly as possible and make sure you receive compensation.

Unfortunately, some crash victims accept the offer and are satisfied that they at least got something. The problem comes later when the settlement runs out and they still have medical bills and other damages they cannot pay for themselves.

These settlements are bound to run out quickly because they are usually too low. Below, we discuss some of the main reasons why these initial settlement offers are so low. We also explain the danger of accepting these lowball offers and why you should talk to an attorney about your situation.

For decades, TSR Injury Law has been helping crash victims recover compensation. We are committed to aggressively pursuing maximum compensation.

Reasons Initial Settlement Offers are Low

Insurance companies have many reasons to make low offers to victims, such as the following:

Protecting Their Bottom Line

Car insurance companies are businesses, and they need to make money to stay in business. They collect premium payments and invest those payments to make money.  By paying out as little as possible, they keep the difference and make a billions of dollars per year in profits.

Another part of their strategy is paying as little as possible for claims so they can keep their money invested for a longer time maximizing profits.

Victims Often Accept Lowball Offers

Unfortunately, some victims accept these low offers. Insurance companies know there is a chance of this happening, so why not try? If the injured person accepts the low offer, the insurance company has even higher profits. If no one ever accepted these offers, there would be no reason for the insurance company to make them.

The problem is most victims do not know the potential value of their claims. They may underestimate what their claims are worth, they may believe their injuries are not that serious or they may not understand that even a “policy Limit” offer might not be true. Insurers also know victims may be desperate for compensation, so they hope you will just take what is offered.

Insurers know some victims will think it is too much of a hassle to negotiate or hire a Bloomington auto accident attorney to help them.

Insurers Do Not Think You Will Hire an Attorney

Many crash victims decide not to work with an attorney. Insurance companies know this, and they often assume victims will not hire an attorney. If a victim does not hire an attorney, they are more likely to accept a lowball settlement offer. Some victims may not even make a counteroffer after the first offer is made by the insurance company.

Insurance companies do not want victims to hire attorneys, particularly attorneys who regularly take cases to court. When a car crash claim goes to court, a jury may award significantly more than the insurance company would pay out after negotiating with a lawyer outside of court.

Without a lawyer, the insurance company does not feel pressure to make a better offer that more accurately reflects the value of your damages. There is no fear or danger to the insurance company because no jury will hold them accountable. The fear is often the best motivator to settling cases fairly and without an attorney, that concern is negated.

The Insurance Company Questions Your Credibility or Strength of Your Case

When the insurance company thinks the victim is partially at fault or that he or she does not have a strong case, they may be more likely to make a lowball offer. The insurance company does not feel much pressure if they think you have a weak case.

There are various reasons the insurance company may question the strength of your case, such as:

  • Statements you made that seem to indicate you are at fault or your injuries are not that serious
  • Social media posts you made undermine your case
  • You have missed doctor’s appointments without rescheduling them
  • Your account of the crash differs from the accounts of others involved or witnesses
  • You have preexisting injuries

Insurers Do Not Have All the Facts

Sometimes there is evidence that even the victim does not know about, much less the insurance company. The insurance company may still be investigating the crash. Additional evidence may help to validate the value of your damages and convince the insurance company to make a better offer.

Examples of missing evidence may include:

  • Camera footage
  • Witness statements
  • Errors on police reports

Your Claim May Have Significant Value

When a crash causes significant damages, the value of the claim can be quite high. That means it would cost the insurance company quite a lot of money. They have an incentive to try to settle it for as little as possible.

Even though the initial offer for these claims is far below the value of the victim’s damages, insurance companies are focused on their bottom line. If your claim is only worth a few thousand dollars, the insurance company may be more likely to settle for the full value of your damages. However, when a claim is worth tens of thousands or more, insurance companies would rather try to lowball the victim and hope he or she accepts the offer.

The Offer Was Created by Software

Sometimes settlement offers are created by a computer. These computers use algorithms to evaluate data collected by the insurance company to determine the value of a claim.

The problem with these offers is they do not consider specific differences between your situation and other claims. Computers cannot consider unique factors about your injury and other aspects of your case.  Bad results for the insurance company are often not entered as data, so future offers never reflect the true value of a claim.

Software used by these computers is designed to serve the interests of the insurance company.

Call TSR Injury Law Today to Discuss Legal Options

You have the option of hiring an attorney to represent your best interests at no upfront cost. At TSR Injury Law, we represent crash victims on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless you get paid.

Give us a call today to learn more about our services and the benefits of working with an attorney. We are here to help.

TSR Injury Law. Local. Licensed. Attorneys. (612) TSR-TIME