Your truck accident claim could be worth quite a bit of money. There’s a good chance that you have suffered serious injuries because the truck involved in your accident was far more massive than your car. In addition, truck accident claims usually involve a large corporate policy that has more coverage than the average car insurance policy. When you get an initial settlement offer from the insurance company, you need to take it with a heavy grain of salt.
The Insurance Company Alone Does Not Decide the Value of Your Case
Any insurance claim is a matter of negotiation between you and the insurance company. They do not simply get to choose a number for your settlement and dictate the terms of it. Their policyholder has a legal obligation to pay for the damages that they have caused. The insurance company stands in their stead and tries to settle the claim on their behalf.
When the insurance company receives your claim, they give it to their adjusters to crunch the numbers. They come up with two figures; the value of your claim and the offer that they make to you. In most cases, there is a wide gap between these two figures. If you accept the initial offer that the insurance company makes, then, apart from certain exceptions, they have gotten away with paying you far less than you deserve.
You Can Count on an Extensive Negotiation
It is part of the time-honored game between claimants and insurance companies to exchange numerous sets of figures. You would think that it should not be so hard to get what you deserve after filing a claim, but this is simply the way that things work. The insurance company will begin with a very low offer that is only a fraction of the value of your claim, and the negotiations begin from there.
The insurance company usually has a lot of room to increase their offer from their initial figure. They usually begin by offering you pennies on the dollar. The insurance company wants to see
what you may be willing to accept. They are testing to see if you are desperate and will take whatever you are offered. In their experience, this practice has saved them a lot of money in the past, and they lose nothing by trying it with you.
Your Lawyer Helps You Negotiate By Properly Valuing Your Claim
Hopefully, you have hired a personal injury lawyer who can help you value your own claim. Otherwise, you are flying blind about the value of your case and are vulnerable to an insurance company’s tricks. Your lawyer should have already computed the value of your damages and factored that into your initial demand from the insurance company.
Be Very Careful About the Initial Offer
In order to go through the claims process, you need a good deal of patience and the counsel of an experienced attorney. Large insurance claims are never settled right away. For the most part, the only ways that you could get a very quick settlement on the first offer are:
- If you took too little money to settle your claim;
- There are underlying issues with your claim;
- If the insurance company offered the policy maximum in their initial settlement offer (this is not a frequent occurrence and would only happen in catastrophic truck accidents)
When you sign a settlement agreement, you are also signing a release agreement. This document states that the insurance company is not obligated to pay you any more money in connection with the claim. In other words, you only get one chance to settle your claim. If you take too little, you risk not having the money in the future. Remember that medical providers and health insurance companies will place a lien against your settlement, so they can be paid back for what they have already done. You need to ensure that you have enough money left for you to pay your own bills while you cannot work and need financial help.
You Are an Equal to the Insurance Company When it Comes to Your Legal Rights
It takes confidence to negotiate with a large insurance company, knowing that they have large budgets for adjusters and lawyers. However, they are just an intermediary and are by no means a jury or court. You have the right and ability to say no when they are trying to take advantage of you, knowing that you can take your case to an actual jury.
Confidence comes from knowing that you have an experienced and effective attorney who knows how to handle the insurance company in settlement negotiations. They will stand up for your legal rights and not let the insurance company pressure or hoodwink you into taking far less than you deserve. They will advise you to use the most effective word possible with the insurance company – no – until you find a way to get to yes.
Call a Southern California Truck Accident Lawyer
The attorneys at Arshakyan Law Firm are the exact type of lawyers that insurance companies fear. We are ones that are not afraid of them in any way. We give our clients aggressive yet sensible advice designed to maximize their financial recovery. Call us today at (888) 851-5005 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. You owe us nothing unless you win your case.