Knowing when to accept a settlement offer can be challenging. You want to recover as much money as possible for your injury claim. However, the insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible for your claim if it cannot find a way to deny the claim in full.
You are not legally required to accept an insurance company’s offer to settle your claim. However, it helps to understand how to refuse an insurance settlement offer and what happens next.
What Happens if I Reject a Settlement Offer From the Insurance Company?
Most initial settlement offers from insurance companies are lower than the value of the claim. As a result, most claims adjusters expect people to reject the first offer unless the company offers to pay the full insurance policy limits for the claim.
Generally, an attorney will send a letter to the insurance company rejecting the initial offer. In addition, the attorney may make a settlement counteroffer. The rejection letter and counteroffer explain why you deserve more money for your claim.
The attorney may highlight the severity of your injuries and how your accident injuries impacted your life. If you sustained permanent impairments, the personal injury lawyer will explain the need for future damages.
The negotiation process can take several months as your lawyer and the claims adjuster go back and forth with counteroffers. Each party will make offers that are higher or lower than they are willing to accept to settle the claim. A skilled accident attorney understands how to negotiate effectively to receive the best possible settlement for your claim.
What Type of Compensation Can I Recover For a Personal Injury Claim?
Before rejecting a settlement offer or making a counteroffer for settlement, you need to know what damages you can receive for a personal injury case. You also need to know how much those damages are worth.
Economic and non-economic damages are generally available in all types of personal injury cases, including automobile accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, dog bites, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and burn injuries.
Economic damages represent the financial losses and expenses related to an accident or injury.
Examples of economic damages include, but might not be limited to:
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical bills and expenses related to treatment, including physical therapy, medications, and medical devices
- Nursing or personal care
- Property damage
- Lost wages and benefits
- Diminished earning potential
Injured parties may also receive compensation for pain and suffering damages.
These non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
The value of your damages depends on the facts of your case. Severe injuries and disabilities usually increase the value of a claim. Correctly calculating the value of damages is a crucial step in the settlement process.
You Can Request Another Claims Adjuster for Your Case
Requesting another claims adjuster for your case is rare. However, if the claims adjuster refuses to negotiate in good faith, your request might be justified.
Insurance claims adjusters often use aggressive tactics to intimidate injured parties. The claims adjuster may try to make you feel like the settlement offer is “take it or leave it.” If you stand your ground by demanding a higher amount, the adjuster may respond accordingly by issuing a counteroffer.
If you believe the claims adjuster is acting in bad faith, make careful notes documenting each interaction or conversation. Then, contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit When Negotiations Fail
Most personal injury cases in Los Angeles settle without filing a lawsuit. However, if the insurance company refuses to negotiate a reasonable settlement agreement, your last option is to take the matter to court.
California’s statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The deadlines may vary depending on the type of case, the parties involved, and other circumstances.
Going to trial does not guarantee you will receive a more considerable amount for your claim. For example, the jurors may find that you were partially to blame for the cause of your injury or the defendant is not at fault for the accident. Likewise, the jurors may decide that your damages are not worth as much as you allege.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help you weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit versus accepting a settlement offer. Most accident lawyers offer free consultations, so discussing your case with an experienced injury lawyer does not cost you anything.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.