Managing settlement negotiations without the help of a personal injury lawyer is challenging, especially when you may still be suffering pain and financial hardship due to an injury. Emotions run high, and the work itself is exhausting. When the first settlement offer is made, it may be tempting to jump at the quick cash and be done with the ordeal.
If you accept a low first offer that does not fully cover your losses and future impacts, the adjuster will be delighted to close the book on your case by paying an inadequate amount. However, simply refusing a settlement without guidance from a personal injury attorney can cause delays or even endanger your case.
How to Respond to a Settlement Offer
- Stay Calm. Even if the first offer is low enough to make you angry, take time to calmly consider it. Understanding the defendant’s financial situation and the limits of their insurance policy will help you determine if the offer is in line with the limited funds available.
- Remain Professional. You will need to consider the validity of any points in their offer and respond in writing with your counterpoints to solidify your original demand or support your counteroffer.
- Know What You Need. Your initial demand letter should be complete and outline all of the compensation to which you are entitled. Stand firm on the facts of your claim in all of your written and verbal statements.
- Keep Communicating. Without your diligent follow-up, the process may stall, as there is no advantage to the insurer to settle quickly.
When to Seek Legal Advice
Insurance claims adjusters negotiate settlements for a living. Their primary goal is to pay the least amount to the fewest claimants possible. As settlement professionals, they know that when they deal directly with the injured person they have all of the advantages.
Having an Attorney Means You Can:
- Get Your Life Back Sooner. Personal injury lawyers’ area of expertise is building a compelling case. Insurance adjusters respect this ability that may ultimately raise the amount of the settlement in court, making them more likely to settle early.
- Control Communication. If you speak directly to the insurance company, you might hurt your own case with inconsistent wording or give them more information than they are entitled to have. Your attorney will handle the negotiation and advise you on how to respond.
- Have Complete Documentation. All of the legal documents and written communications need to be of the highest accuracy and satisfy the legal principles of demand, rejection, or acceptance of a settlement. A personal injury law firm will complete all of the paperwork for you.
You don’t need to step into this arena alone and negotiate with professionals by yourself. At Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have some of the top personal injury lawyers in Houston ready to guide you through this process. Take advantage of a free consultation and empower yourself with the right information.
We’ve helped thousands of Texas residents navigate these frustrating and confusing waters. With the guidance of a trusted personal injury lawyer, the back and forth can be minimized, and you can recuperate with peace of mind, knowing that you are receiving the full and fair settlement you deserve.