How to Identify a Low-Ball Car Accident Insurance Settlement

James Oronoz

Nearly all car accident cases settle after negotiations. Getting a low insurance company settlement offer is usually part of the process; it’s just a matter of how low in your particular case. Anticipating a low-ball offer and knowing how to respond gives you the best chance for recovering the compensation you deserve.

An insurance company will not be fair to a self-represented party.  That’s why it is critical to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the games insurers play and how to get them to move toward an acceptable settlement.

Why Do Insurance Companies Make Low-Ball Offers?

Why do insurance companies bother with this time and energy-wasting back-and-forth?

They employ a well-known negotiating strategy known as anchoring based on how most people think in a negotiation. No matter how unreasonable, the first number is given too much weight, and it dominates the discussion. People who otherwise may know that’s not a fair number may begin to doubt themselves and be more willing to give in.

If your case is worth $20,000 more than what the company offers and you negotiate for a time, the adjuster may relent and up the offer by $10,000. Because of that low-ball tactic, you may think that increase shows they’re reasonable, maybe even generous, and take the offer.

The Insurance Company’s Endgame

Few people regularly negotiate in our personal or professional lives. We can be susceptible to anchoring, and that helps the insurance company.

Beyond the tactical reasons, an insurance company will low-ball your case because of the chances it will be accepted and save the company money. If you agree to a low amount, the company saves money, you’re one fewer case to deal with, and the adjuster looks good by reaching an agreement that benefits the company. When faced with legitimate claims, insurance companies seek to minimize the payouts they make.

What Are Signs I’m Getting a Low-Ball Offer?

The sooner you identify a low-ball offer, the faster you can work with your attorney to respond and further negotiate. There are many indications an insurance company’s offer isn’t fair, such as:

It doesn’t consider all the damages you suffered or will suffer in the future.

They may not factor in the past and or expected future medical bills, physical and or emotional therapy, property damage, or the effect a long-term disability will have on your earning potential.

The insurance company may also downplay your injuries and claim there’s no evidence to support your alleged injuries, or they’re less severe than you say.

The insurance company pressures you to sign.

An often-effective way to manipulate accident victims into accepting bad offers is by creating artificial deadlines. You might be told the offer will be withdrawn if you don’t agree in a limited time frame. They don’t want you to think about it or discuss it with an attorney. They just want you to accept it.

The insurer doesn’t give a good justification for their offer.

If the offer doesn’t make sense from the start and feels way off, it probably is. You could be told their software calculates an offer without going into any details, but you deserve an explanation.

The insurance company claims you’re at fault for the accident.

In Nevada, you must show the other party is more than half at fault to win your case. Even when they are, your recovery will be reduced by your share of the blame. They may say you are more than half at fault, so your case is worth little or nothing, or your share of the responsibility is so high it justifies a significant discount off your claim.

The insurance company ignores evidence.

The insurance company doesn’t want to hear about all the time you spent in a hospital or at physical therapy and has no interest in discussing the work you missed. If the evidence doesn’t fit their narrative, they don’t recognize it.

If you’re hearing any of this from an insurance adjuster, it’s time you get serious and contact a car accident attorney. If they’re not willing to be fair, you shouldn’t be willing to work with them.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Las Vegas

If you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Find out how much your claim could be worth when you call an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer at O&E Injury Lawyers.

Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation by calling our office at 702-878-2889 or using our online contact form. We will contact you so we can learn more about your case.

Recommended Posts