Once you say yes to an insurance company’s settlement offer, Renegotiating can be difficult. That is because you will have already signed a release of liability form, effectively ending your case.
Your attorneys should have you sign this during a protected conversation, usually described as “without prejudice” or “off the record.” A reasonable attorney will know when an offer is too low.
When you are involved in a traumatic accident, you can feel overwhelmed by bills, medical expenses, and other consequences of your injury. It’s common to want to take the first offer from an insurance company to recoup some of your damages and put it all behind you. However, this is rarely a good idea.
Insurance adjusters make initial offers low because they know many injury victims will accept them out of desperation. The truth is that your injuries are likely worth more than the low-ball offer you receive, and it’s essential to keep fighting for fair compensation.
If you reject an initial offer, understand that it could be months before you see your settlement check. An aggressive team of lawyers fighting for you must negotiate any liens (payments to medical providers) and other invoices before they can send you the rest of your payment. This process is complicated and requires legal advice.
A call from an insurance company promising a quick resolution to your money problems might seem like a dream come true. It may be better than waiting years for your case to settle.
However, an initial settlement offer may be far less than your injuries and losses are worth. Insurance companies want to make profits and do whatever they can to minimize payouts.
The best action is to consult an attorney before responding to a settlement offer. Your rights can be better understood, and a more significant settlement can be negotiated with the aid of an attorney. They will also be able to assess whether the proposed settlement offers adequate compensation for your injury and loss. Rejecting a settlement offer without consulting a lawyer can cause irreversible mistakes, jeopardizing your chances of receiving fair compensation. An adept attorney can help you avoid making these errors.
Don’t Give Up
Insurance companies often make a low-ball offer at the start of settlement negotiations. They want to save money by settling for less than your injuries are worth.
Many accident victims feel pressure to accept the first offer because they have bills and need the money now. They may have heard horror stories of people’s claims taking years to settle or not at all.
When a person is offered a settlement, they should consult a lawyer before accepting the offer. A lawyer can help them determine whether the offer is fair and can assist with negotiating an increase in the offer. They can also advise on other benefits to which a claimant might be entitled, such as outplacement support. Outplacement support consists of guidance with job search and assistance with CV writing and interview preparation. This can be a significant benefit for someone severely injured and unable to work as they did before their accident.
Don’t Forget About Taxes
Aside from the fact that every case and every person is different, the IRS imposes strict guidelines on tax-free virtual settlements. If you fail to meet these requirements, the IRS will assess taxes on your settlement, potentially reducing its total value by a large percentage.
If you’re offered a settlement and have doubts about the tax implications, ask your employer to talk to you in a protected conversation. This type of discussion allows you to discuss your concerns without fear that your employer will use them against you in a later tribunal claim.
Even if you’ve been told you cannot negotiate the money you receive, it is still worth asking for a counteroffer from the insurance company after seeking independent legal advice.