Personal injury lawsuits are some of the most argued-over cases in law. They generally go through numerous rounds of discussion and negotiation before any agreement is reached, and the agreement may be wildly different than what was initially proposed. It is very important for victims of accidents to receive ample compensation if they were hurt because of another party’s negligence, but unfortunately, pursuing this compensation by yourself is not easy. You are less likely to receive a sufficient settlement if you try to handle the claim without legal help. Additionally, it is a common occurrence for insurance companies to make a low offer when proposing compensation. At the Downtown LA Law Group, our personal injury lawyers are constantly on the receiving end of low offers from insurance companies, and we must negotiate endlessly for our clients. We are faced with numerous questions each day concerning these scenarios, including the following:
- What is considered a low offer on a car accident case?
- What would be a “low offer” on a car accident case?
- Is my insurance company giving me a low offer for my injury claim?
- What is a low offer for a slip and fall case?
- What is a lowball amount for an Uber accident case?
- What is the real value of my Lyft accident claim?
- What is a low offer for a back injury case?
- How much should I receive for a spinal cord injury claim?
- What’s the value of my broken bone case?
- What is considered a low offer for a knee injury claim?
- How much is a low offer for a medical malpractice case?
Understanding the Value of a Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury case is assembled by the victim and submitted to the insurance company for consideration. An agent will receive the letter and may take up to two weeks to get to it. This demand letter will include a lot of evidence, as well as the initial request for payment. The insurance agent will look at all of the evidence as well as other factors, such as your age, your career, your level of responsibility in the incident, and more. Once he has evaluated everything, he will make an offer.
Your case may be worth a lot of money if you can prove that there were clear violations, laws being broken, intentions of harm, and more. If you suffered lasting injuries or needed numerous medical treatments to get better, you may also expect a higher offer. Your quality of life could have drastically changed, too, and the level of it will affect the value of your case. For example, if you were left with a stiff leg after a car accident, you may only be given a fraction of an increase for your compensation. You may be offered $7500 for all the damages together. However, if you lost a leg and required a wheelchair, modifications to your home, a different vehicle, disability benefits, and a career change, you may be given a sizeable increase for your claim, possibly upwards of $250,000. Context and effects are very important when deliberating on the value of your case, and you should be aware of how each and every change and detail impacts your claim’s overall worth.
There is no way to simply declare that your case is worth $20,000 or $1,000,000. There are many factors to be considered; even looking at previous cases from people with similar injuries may not realistically reflect the value of your claim. They may have had poor attorneys or they may have had different effects on their career.
Reasons for Low Offers from Insurance Companies
The insurance agent handling your case will almost always make you an initial offer that is much lower than your requested compensation. This is done for a number of reasons, some of which are based on negotiation tactics. We have outlined some of the reasons below:
- Authority of the Insurance Agent: Some insurance agents may claim that they only hve the authority to make offers up to a certain amount of money. If they wish to make a larger offer, they will have to consult their supervisor, or the claim will have to be resubmitted to someone higher up with more clearance or capabilities. If this is suggested to you, you should take down the name of their supervisor and continue to fight and negotiate.
- Preserving Profits: The insurance company wants to ensure that it is not losing money, and one of the best ways to do that is to simply not pay out claims, or at least not pay them out with large amounts. The less money that insurance companies spend on victims’ bills, the more profits they retain for themselves.
- Utilization of Software: Insurance claims are meant to be pored over by insurance agents, not computer software. There is no software that can adequately create an offer based on the facts input into it. The program may make small offers based on coding or previous occurrences, and not take other factors into account.
- History of Claimants: It is common practice for insurance agents to not give out worthwhile settlements until very late. They may be aware that the victim has a lot of bills to pay or is desperate for a settlement. By making a low offer with desperate clients, the insurance company can ensure that it does not face additional negotiation. Too often, victims will simply accept the first offer they are given and will not negotiate a larger settlement. They may not know how to do so or they may simply want to get the ordeal over with, especially if the claim has persisted for some months.
- Protection from Lawsuits: In the event that a victim accepts a low offer from an insurance company, the victim will not be able to sue afterward for additional compensation. This is a good level of protection for the company, if it only takes a few thousand dollars to prevent additional legal fees and an even larger settlement amount if a lawyer were to get involved or if the claim were to be taken to court.
- Lack of Key Information: An insurance agent may not be privy to certain information that could greatly influence a case. If you do not give him all of the evidence, then you cannot expect him to make a worthwhile offer. It is important that you provide all of the proof of your injuries so there is no information missing that would lead to a decreased settlement offer.
- Victim Error: After receiving a low offer, some victims may immediately lash out and start to argue with or insult the insurance agent. This can greatly harm your case. You may also have shared too much or said contradictory remarks to the agent during the discussions. It is important that you are always careful with your words when speaking with an insurance agent about your injury case.
There are other reasons that the insurance agent will make you a low offer, but these are the most common. You should be appropriately prepared to deal with a lowball amount, else you will not be fairly compensated.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Benefit Your Case
Because of how common it is for insurance agents to make low settlement offers, it is often recommended that victims seek assistance from a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney can change the entire outlook of your case for you.
The insurance company does not want to go to trial, and it is much more confident in dealing with regular people for their claims. Once attorneys get involved, the agents are not the ones holding all the cards anymore. A lawyer knows the ins and outs of the law and can make certain points that normal individuals cannot.
For example, it is required that an insurance company respond to a claim within an appropriate time frame, and that the offer is also reasonable. If the insurance agent never replies or if he makes a lowball offer that is clearly insulting, the company could be held accountable in an insurance bad faith claim. Everyday citizens may not know the first thing about filing such a claim, but a personal injury lawyer can get the ball rolling.
With the help of a lawyer, you can rest easy while the case is handled. The attorney will work on your case and negotiate deals, but he will also not accept on your behalf. You will still determine if you will accept or deny a settlement offer from the insurance company.
Choosing a Firm to Fight for You
The Downtown LA Law Group is known as one of the most successful law firms in Los Angeles. We have a team of aggressive attorneys on our side and we consistently fight for the maximum settlement value for our clients. We stop at nothing to ensure that you receive every single penny that you deserve. You should not be expected to cover expenses if you were injured because of the negligent action of another party, whether that’s a driver, a business, or a manufacturer. We will take your case to court to prove that you deserve a larger offer if we must.
For a free legal consultation on your claim or to determine if the offer you have received from the insurance agent is too small, contact our firm. All of your case details and personal information will be kept totally confidential. Further, if you hire us, we will give you our zero fee guarantee on your claim. That means that you will pay no fees win or lose – we only get paid if we win, and the expenses will come from the settlement from the insurance agent.
To determine if the insurance agent made you a low offer and what to do to move forward with a personal injury claim, get in touch with the Downtown LA Law Group today.