After a motor vehicle accident you can file an insurance claim. The insurance company will investigate the claim and verify it against the injuries sustained and damage to the vehicle. Thereafter, they will likely send you the first settlement offer in writing. This offer will specify the amount the insurance company has agreed to pay for your damages – the full claim, a part of it, or nothing at all. The vehicle damage claim is separate from the claim for injuries sustained and loss of wages, so you will likely receive two separate offers.
The Initial Offer is Generally Low
If the initial offer from the insurance adjuster is too low you have the options of accepting the offer, rejecting it, or negotiating a higher amount. The first offer is generally low, as the adjuster wants to save the insurance company some money and has the authority to negotiate a final settlement amount.
Whether the initial offer is low or not will depend on your personal case. An ideal settlement amount should compensate for the vehicle damage and the medical expenses incurred. If you have sustained an injury with lasting effects or a disability, the compensation should include your future expenses. You should keep an account of the money that you have already spent. This will give you an help you evaluate whether the offer is low or not.
Understand Your Insurance Policy
The next important thing is having a knowledge of your insurance policy as well as the insurance regulations of your state. If your bill amount is higher than the coverage of your insurance policy, the offer will almost certainly be low, possibly around the maximum limit of your insurance coverage. You should also pay attention to the fault liability stated by the insurance company. Insurance adjusters, in many cases, overstate the amount of fault so that a deliberate low first offer seem justified.
Before accepting an offer from your insurance adjuster, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced car accident attorney. Your attorney can assist you by helping you determine the amount of compensation that will be necessary for both present and future expenses. Many times, the negotiations involved in these cases are complex. Having the assistance of an attorney who deals with these claims on a regular basis will not doubt increase your chances of recovering the compensation you need.
St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact our St. Louis personal injury lawyers to discuss your case before you speak with an insurance adjusters! We have over 15 years of experience and have successfully handled thousands of cases involved St. Louis automobile accident claims. Call (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation!