Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm
Insurance companies try to settle as cheaply as possible. Here are seven signs that the insurer is lowballing your claim.
While we’re in favor of settling your accident claim quickly so you can move on with your life, a quick offer is likely a lowball figure.
Insurance claims aren’t one-paper documents. A well-detailed claim usually includes:
Adjusters who race through this important content are probably interested in one goal: pay you as little as possible. They did not consider all the ways that the accident affected your physical, emotional and financial health.
As experienced Permian Basin personal injury lawyers, we’ve negotiated a fair settlement as quickly as four to six weeks. Usually, the process takes three to six months or longer for complex cases.
Not only do insurers try to settle cheaply, but they also push to settle fast. Insurance companies prefer dealing with injured individuals directly (rather than through an attorney) because most people don’t have the knowledge, experience, time, or patience for a lengthy negotiation.
Insurance companies often imply that their lowball offer is as high as they’ll go, and you’d better accept it fast.
Some insurance companies tell you that you should accept their offer quickly – that there’s “no time” to consult an attorney. The truth is that the insurance company wants you to take their lowball offer before you find out that you might have recovered more.
Under Texas law, you have two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim. In most cases, that’s plenty of time to consult an attorney.
Insurance companies use different tactics to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. One popular tactic is to ignore or dismiss evidence of liability. If they can somehow make the accident your fault – in whole or in part – they can pay you less.
Your insurance claim should include sufficient evidence that shows:
There are many types of evidence to meet this burden of proof, including photos, videos, witness statements, police reports, medical documentation, and more. Even if the insurance company ignores this evidence, it is essential to have it if you go to court.
Insurance adjusters question your injuries because it gives them an excuse to pay you less. A popular tactic is for the adjuster to imply that your injuries are from a pre-existing condition.
If the insurer questions the validity or cause of your injuries:
You can also talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case. An experienced attorney is familiar with every trick used by insurers to cheat injured people, including questioning their injuries.
You don’t have to give the insurance companies access to your entire medical history. Limit medical documentation to accident-related injuries only. Call an attorney if the insurance company tells you that they must have access to your medical history or that you must be examined by their doctor.
You have a right to ask how the insurance adjuster arrived at their offer, especially for emotional damages. Economic damages, like doctor’s bills or car repairs, are straightforward. Emotional losses are less tangible and, therefore, more likely to fall short by an unscrupulous adjuster.
Most insurance companies try to save money on your emotional damages, like pain and suffering. An insurer who cannot give you a straight answer on how they arrived at their offer is probably lowballing you.
Insurance companies often use the multiplier method to calculate pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other emotional damages.
They add up your economic damages and then multiply that amount by a number from 1.5 to 5. Insurance adjusters then usually add your lost wages to that figure.
You could not recover compensation from another person’s insurance company if you caused the accident. Insurers often attempt to blame the victim for their injuries to get away with paying them less than they deserve. That is why your claim must include evidence of the other party’s liability or wrongdoing.
If the insurance company chooses to ignore this evidence, it might be time to call an attorney.
If you are found partially at fault for your injuries in Texas, your damages can be reduced accordingly. Insurers know that under this “proportionate responsibility” statute, they can pay you less than what you might be entitled to receive.
For example, let’s say that your damages are $100,000. The insurance company tries to blame you for 40% of the accident. If successful, your compensation drops by 40%, or $40,000. You collect $60,000, even though your damages were greater than that amount.
When you suddenly stop hearing from the insurance company, it could be a tactic to get you to accept a lowball offer. Whether it’s unreturned phone calls or unanswered emails, insurance adjusters know that silence creates anxiety when you have stacks of bills and no way to pay them. They want you to call them, panicked and ready to accept whatever offer the insurance company makes.
Frankly, shutting down communication with an injured individual to lure them into accepting a lowball bid is shady. You shouldn’t have to chase down an adjuster to recover a fair settlement for an accident that was not your fault.
Insurance companies tend to go silent after you reject their lowball offer. Insurance companies don’t want you to know that you can make a counteroffer. Unfortunately, most people aren’t aware of their rights when dealing with an insurance company. When you also consider that accident victims are still recovering and not feeling well, it’s hardly a level playing field for a fair settlement.
Insurance companies have no problem blaming victims and using underhanded tactics to protect their bottom line. At the Kemmy Law Firm, we know their tricks and what it takes to fight back against lowball settlement offers. Let us handle the legal side of your injury while you focus on your physical and mental recovery.
With over 50 years of combined experience and over $50 million recovered for injury victims, the Kemmy Law Firm is here for you. We represent people in cases like yours across West Texas, the Permian Basin, and in the Midland-Odessa, Hobbs, New Mexico area.
Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.
When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.