Do Insurance Companies Offer Settlements?
It’s no mystery that car accidents usually have tragic consequences. From injuries to the loss of human life, there’s no end to the number of damage accidents can do. As a result, car accidents can lead to lengthy and costly lawsuits in order for the victims to get compensation.
But there is also some good news — insurance companies will almost always prefer to write settlement checks instead of going to court. In fact, frequently, it takes a couple of days, weeks, or months for car accident victims to be compensated which should allow them to recover and return to their daily routine.
This article will take a deep dive into insurance companies and why they prefer to offer settlements rather than go to court. Then, it will also discuss the steps related to the settlement process and how they work.
Why Are Settlements So Common?
Generally speaking, the purpose of insurance companies is to protect their clients by paying claims against them. So, unless the insurance agent has a serious reason not to pay the claim, a car accident victim can expect to receive a settlement offer after filing a claim with the company.
However, more often than not, the insurance adjuster will look for reasons to minimize or avoid payment. For example, they might say that their client is not responsible for the accident, meaning that they could offer zero compensation to the victim.
Even so, victims shouldn’t give up and stop trying. As a matter of fact, if there is enough pressure put on the insurance company, it may have to pay the claim in order to avoid an expensive lawsuit.
How Does the Settlement Process Work?
Even though every case is unique, there is a fairly predictable pattern that insurance settlements tend to follow.
The first thing any insurance company will do to determine the victim’s expenses and damages is to ask a lot of questions. More specifically, they’ll talk to their client and the victim about the details of the accident. These include anything from the time of the day and weather to the actual events leading up to the accident. So, without any question, you need to tell your insurance company if someone hits you.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are businesses that want to do their best to minimize claims and maximize their profits. That’s why they will try to uncover evidence and statements about the accident that could jeopardize the victim’s claim. Therefore, victims should not provide a statement unless they’ve spoken to a car accident attorney in Des Moines first.
While it may feel unfair, the injured victim is going to be investigated by the insurance company. In other words, they will look up the personal history of the victim, find out if they’ve filed claims in the past, and even talk with relatives, friends, and employers of the victim.
Not only that, but insurance adjusters will also look online to see if there’s anything that might relate to the case, even in a small way. They might even go through the victim’s social media history and see what they’ve been up to. As a result, personal injury lawyers recommend that victims avoid dealing with insurance adjusters beyond delivering factual information about the accident. Any other information that a victim gives away can be used against them in order to lower the final settlement amount.
Insurance companies will require clear evidence of damage and medical expenses before agreeing to a settlement amount. That may take the form of statements from employers, medical documentation, and financial records. As a matter of fact, this information is essential to proving the victim’s claim and increasing the chances of success. During this stage, the victim will have to compile this information and present it to an insurance adjuster.
Determining the Claim’s Value
Once the adjuster has the necessary information, they will enter it into their claims software. That software uses a formula that takes into account a variety of factors, like the type of injury, non-injury expenses, and details related to the accident. The system will then generate a settlement offer, which, unfortunately, is usually a lowball offer. In fact, it can be insultingly low and can barely cover basic medical bills.
However, the victim shouldn’t rush to settle the claim by accepting the first offer. Instead, they should take the opportunity to negotiate and try to get more money from the insurer. Keep in mind that during the final stage of the claim, the parties should eventually come to an agreement and end negotiations. If that’s not possible, the victim can sue the insurer or the responsible party in an attempt to get the desired settlement.
Hiring a Lawyer Is Always a Great Idea
Overall, it’s important to remember that insurance companies can and will offer settlements to victims of car accidents. Even so, the settlement will rarely cover all the expenses and damages requested by the victim. That’s why it’s always a great idea to hire a car accident lawyer. Not only will lawyers help the victim during statement collecting, but they can also negotiate with the insurance company.
So, if you find yourself in need, you can always get in touch with Tom Fowler, Attorney at Law. The legal team specializing in personal injury lawsuits is more than ready to assist you in getting properly compensated.