Many people are surprised by how quickly they hear from the insurance company after an accident. The dust has barely settled, and you receive a call from a friendly voice saying they want to make sure you are fully covered. Not long after that, you get a settlement offer from the insurance company.
The insurance company is not your friend. The entire insurance business is built on minimizing their own financial risk and obligation to compensate victims of serious injuries. That is why the vast majority of initial insurance settlement offers are laughably, insultingly low.
Accepting such an offer can ruin your financial future. But how can you tell if the insurance offer is truly going to cover your injuries and losses? You can have an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney from Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. examine your insurance offer. And if the offer is unfair, your lawyer can fight for every dollar you deserve. Call us at (205) 933-1500 or use our online contact form to reach out.
Below, we discuss how your attorney will evaluate an insurance offer.
To evaluate an insurance offer, your attorney will first need to determine how much compensation you are owed for your accident and injuries. If the insurance offer does not fully cover every loss you have suffered, your attorney may advise demanding a higher settlement.
To calculate the value of the settlement you deserve, we will determine the value of each of your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the consequences of your accident that directly affect your financial situation. These damages typically have a clear monetary value, and the insurance offer should cover them in full.
The following are some examples of common economic damages:
The value of non-economic damages can be somewhat less clear than economic damages because these damages account for all of the intangible effects your injuries have had on your life.
Common non-economic damages include the following:
These types of damages warrant significant financial compensation. But because non-economic damages do not always have a clear price tag, insurance companies try to discount the true value of these damages in their initial settlement offers.
Your Alabama accident lawyer will not let you become the next victim of an insurer’s dishonest tactics. We know how to place a fair value on all types of damages and ensure that our clients recover every cent.
Another way your attorney will evaluate your insurance offer is by assessing the strength of your case. This means we will examine the details of what happened and who is at fault. Then, we will determine how these factors affect the value of the settlement you are owed.
We will take a particularly hard look at who is at fault for your accident. If the evidence all points to the other person involved in the accident, this strengthens your case, meaning you have a stronger position from which to negotiate with the insurance company.
If, however, you hold some of the blame for what happened, your case may become slightly weaker, meaning the insurer’s offer may be closer to what you could actually win if the case went to court.
Keep in mind that one of the most common strategies insurers use to decrease the value of a claimant’s settlement is trying to assert that the accident was the claimant’s fault when it truly was not. If they make it seem like you share even a little of the fault for your accident, they may not be obligated to compensate you. Your lawyer will watch for this and will know how to combat it to make sure you are treated fairly.
Sometimes, insurance companies make a low settlement offer and then refuse to negotiate fairly. In cases like that, your attorney will not be afraid to take them to court to make sure you get the settlement you deserve for your accident.
Going to court is possible, but it does not have to come to that. Often, simply hiring a lawyer known for their experience and winning track record is enough to convince the insurer to play fair.