What Happens If a Settlement Offer Is Rejected?
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
When an insurer offers a settlement, how a victim responds can have severe financial and legal consequences, so a settlement offer should not be accepted before a thorough investigation by an experienced personal injury lawyer.
An important thing to remember in a personal injury case is that the defense always has an agenda contrary to the victims. That is to pay out as little as possible and prevent the case from going to trial.
A personal injury lawyer is familiar with the tactics used by insurance companies. Therefore, it is advisable to speak to one before accepting any settlement offer, as it is unlikely that a victim may have another chance to receive compensation after accepting a settlement offer.
This also does not mean that a settlement offer should be rejected right away. At Tom Fowler Law, we can help victims navigate their personal injury cases to obtain fair offers to receive compensation for all their damages.
Reasons Why Insurance Companies Provide Low Settlement Offers
Often, insurance companies intentionally offer low settlement amounts in the hope that complainants accept them and do not pursue the matter further. Remember that insurance companies are businesses, and a greater settlement amount means fewer earnings for them.
Another reason for a lower settlement amount is that the insurer has made a genuine error or missed a factor that may have resulted in a significant difference in the settlement amount. Receiving a low settlement offer after someone hits your car can be discouraging. It can also feel binding, so always seek legal counsel before accepting or declining any settlement offer.
There are other options complainants have, and experienced Des Moines auto accident attorneys can explain these options to a victim, so they understand that they are not obligated to accept unfair settlement offers.
What Are Some of the Other Options?
As mentioned before, victims are not obligated to accept settlement offers. Here are some of the other options available:
Reject the Offer and Negotiate
Offers that have been rejected are no longer on the table, so a complainant may not change their minds later. Instead, a counteroffer that a complainant deems fair can be issued, and an insurance company can choose whether to accept or reject it.
This must be done by submitting a formal rejection letter that provides relevant evidence for why their offer was too low and why the counteroffer is more acceptable. The rejection letter must accompany evidence such as lost wages, proof of permanent disability, and continuing medical expenses.
Deal with a “Take It or Leave It” Offer
This is a common tactic used by insurers to force and intimidate a complainant into accepting a low and unfair settlement offer. Often, people who are in pain or have received trauma from the incident are more likely to accept these offers.
Victims are not under obligation to accept any unfair settlement amount, and an excellent way to get around this is to meticulously record all interactions with anyone associated with the insurance provider. It is considered a severe violation if an insurance agent or other company representative acts improperly or in bad faith.
Pursue Further Legal Action
Filing a lawsuit does not guarantee that the case ends up in court or that the settlement will be fair. Instead, this step is required when all other negotiations have failed, and the insurance company refuses to cooperate. After the lawsuit is filed, an attorney gathers all relevant evidence to support the claim.
If a lawyer can successfully persuade the insurer that the complainant is likely to win should the case go to trial, they may be more willing to negotiate.
Each case is unique, with its own set of facts and details. Contact Tom Fowler Law today for a free consultation and case review to receive the necessary legal advice before settling any personal injury claim.
Need Help with a Personal Injury Case? Contact Tom Fowler Law Today!
Personal injury cases can be challenging to navigate without professional help. Don't be fooled into settling for unfair or unreasonable settlement offers made by insurance companies acting in their interest.
An experienced attorney like Tom Fowler can help complainants know their rights and help them decide which option is applicable. Our legal team treats every personal injury case with the respect and care it deserves to ensure that our clients are well cared for as they recover from their injuries and trauma caused by incidents that were not their fault.