After you have been injured in a West Virginia personal injury accident and you have gone through the process of receiving medical attention and speaking with police, it’s time to focus on your settlement. You have an idea in mind of how much you would like to receive for your injuries so that you can get back on your feet after missing time at work and having to face medical bills on your own. However, when you receive the settlement offer, it isn’t exactly what you were hoping for.
Most often, you will be dealing with the insurance company when you receive your offer. If you believe that you received a “low-ball” offer that will not cover all of the aspects you have intended to cover after becoming injured, it might be time to respond to the letter in a way that will help you pave the way toward a bigger settlement. With the help of an attorney, you can work toward a better offer in your case.
Taking a Closer Look at Your Offer
Many people feel a wide variety of emotions after they have been handed a low settlement offer. You might be feeling emotional after being offered some form of financial compensation, but you should always take time to analyze the offer and ask why it could have been so low. The answer might be as easy as the fact that insurance companies typically tend to offer a low offer at first so that it can start off the negotiation process. You might be able to work your way up to an offer that sounds much better and more realistic. Perhaps you have ideas of a break-even offer or an offer that gives you exactly what you want and need – and there is hope.
If you want to deny the offer given by the insurance company and continue onward with negotiations, you want to respond to the company in writing. This will require the experience and help of your attorney. You want to ask the insurance adjuster a few questions regarding why the offer was so low to ensure that you have a better idea of where you stand and what you might have missed. Perhaps there was insufficient evidence of the injuries that you sustained and the insurance company would like you to attend more doctor’s appointments with specialists, or maybe all they need to see are copies of your medical bills. These are what we call “easy” fixes and a way to ensure that you receive the settlement you deserve.
Working on the Counteroffer
If you choose to counteroffer, you want to ensure that you are being as reasonable as possible. For instance, if your medical bills only cost you $3,000 total, you don’t want to ask for $100,000 in damages. Based on the amount of suffering your injuries have caused you, you might want to counteroffer at a high level, but the insurance company will not pay and will limit you. You might find that the insurance company will offer less than you wanted the second time around but maybe it’s closer to the number you had in mind. This means that you keep negotiating until you reach a number that sounds good to you.
Of course, when you are going through negotiations with an insurer, you never want to work alone but instead invest in the help of a personal injury attorney who has experience in West Virginia car accident cases. Insurance companies have the upper hand and might try to take advantage of you when it comes to an offer, which is why it is wise to have legal help on your side every step of the way. Please contact us at Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner to find out how we can assist you at (304) 713-2014.