Why is the insurance company lowballing me? Accident victims frequently ask that question. It’s hard for people to understand why companies offer low accounting when they are trying to get back on their feet after a personal injury accident.
If you were injured because of the negligence of some other person, or business, you might be pursuing a personal injury insurance claim. You desire to obtain compensation for the losses you have sustained.
As you have tried to settle your claim with an insurance company, you may be bewildered as to why the offer for compensation for your injuries is so small. You are not alone. Injured people like you often find themselves in this same quandary. Low ball offers are the rule and not the exception unless you have one of the best personal injury lawyers on your side.
Insurance Company is in Business for Profit!
Like many people who are in an accident, you may be under the perception that an insurance company is primarily in business to settle claims for injuries, damages, and losses reasonably. While that is a nice thought, the reality is that settling compensation claims is not the primary reason an insurance company is in business. Every penny they do not pay you is an extra profit for them.
As with any other large corporation, an insurance company exists for one main reason. An insurance company is primarily in business to make money for its shareholders. The stark reality is that an insurance company increases its profits and enhances the amount of money paid to shareholders by decreasing the amount paid out in insurance claims.
The Low-Ball Strategy
The objective of an insurance company to decrease claim settlement and increase profits means that it will employ tactics and strategies that can result in it offering a small amount of money for your injury with the hopes you will accept it. The low-ball offer is a strategy the adjusters use every day to reset your expectations of what is reasonable.
Since you cannot fight the case effectively without a lawyer, you have no leverage on the adjuster.
The Small Case Dilemma
If you are injured but not severely, you may be receiving a lowball offer because the economics of taking the case to trial does not make sense for an attorney. This factors into the insurance companies offer in many car accident claims where the injury is whiplash and property damage is minor.
The insurance company knows that the out-of-pocket costs for an attorney to handle this type of case probably exceed the money that the attorney would reasonably expect to make on the case. In that situation, the injured person and the attorney lose the leverage that a trial gives them in more serious injury cases.
Inadvertently Locking Yourself into a Settlement Bind
If you have been injured in an accident arising from the negligence of another party, you likely will be contacted promptly by a representative of that individual’s insurance company. If you have already filed a claim, you may have heard from a representative of the insurer.
An injured person’s big mistake, which results in an individual receiving a lowball offer of compensation for injuries, is being too free to discuss an accident and injuries with an insurance company. Your best strategy is to forgo immediately discussing the accident and your injuries with an insurance company until you have at least taken the time to consult with a car accident lawyer if your claim stems from a car wreck or an 18-wheeler accident lawyer if a commercial trucker has injured you. How long a case can take depends on the type, severity of injuries, and available insurance coverage.
Time and again, people just like you answer questions put forth by an insurance company adjuster at a point in time before even the full extent of injuries is known. If you do this, you potentially can damage your claim and limit the amount of money you will be able to receive for your injuries.
If you are injured in an accident, schedule an initial consultation with a qualified, experienced personal injury lawyer before you do anything further. A personal injury lawyer will meet with you to discuss your case at no cost to you.
Discussing the Claim Before the Extent of Your Injuries are Known
Another mistake many personal injury victims make in talking to an adjuster early after the accident is cementing their injuries before the extent of the injuries is known.
Typically, a person will be injured in an accident and be taken by ambulance to an emergency room where they are treated. Contrary to popular belief, emergency rooms are for life-threatening situations. Most of the time, the injured person is discharged with instructions to follow up with the appropriate physician for injuries that are not deemed life-threatening.
Often, it is not until more sophisticated testing is done that the doctors and the victim know the extent of an injury. This testing can be a CT scan or an MRI after a spine injury. If you have stated your injuries before, the extent of your injuries is known. That can be one reason why you are being lowballed.
Attempting to Handle the Case Without a Lawyer
The most significant mistake is assuming they will be treated fairly without a lawyer. The insurance company does not want you to have a lawyer and often actively discourages you from hiring one.
They may say such things as “a lawyer will just take 40% of your money”, “we accept liability,” or words to that effect. In short, without a lawyer, you have no hammer or leverage for the insurance company to be fair. Because they know that all you can do if they lowball you is find a lawyer, and often, you have already done damage to your case.
Hiring the Wrong Lawyer
Another big mistake that people make is hiring the wrong attorney. Friends or family members may suggest someone who may or may not specialize in personal injury cases. Worse, you may be sent to a “mill” law firm that churns their cases by accepting quick lowball settlements. If you feel like a number when you walk into the law firm, do not expect things to change once you have hired a lawyer.
In today’s digital age, insurance companies keep records of attorneys and their track record of successes.
If you hire an attorney with no track record with the type of case you have, that’s one strike against them. Always hire a personal injury lawyer with experience in your case type. If you have a motorcycle crash claim, seek a firm with success in that area. Look at the law firm’s results for a top-notch team.
Find the Best Lawyer
Do your homework before you sign any paperwork with an attorney. Once you have hired an attorney, you can fire that attorney, but you cannot stiff them for work they had done on the file when they took a case on a contingency basis.
Get a Local Attorney
If you are hurt in an accident in Harris County, Texas, get a lawyer with their primary office in Houston, Texas. Hiring an out-of-the-area lawyer is not recommended and can impact the settlement amount.
So be sure you have the right attorney for your case before you sign up with that lawyer.
Contact Baumgartner Law Firm for a Free Consultation- at (281) 587-1111!