When should you negotiate a car accident settlement with an insurance company? If you’ve seen a physician and have no or minor injuries, and the amount at stake is not substantial, you’re not risking that much when the company convinces you to agree to a bad settlement. If you have a serious injury and the potential financial harm is severe, you’re better off getting help from Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP.
What is Liberty Mutual Insurance?
You may be filing a claim with your carrier, or it covers the party responsible for your accident. If it’s Liberty Mutual, it’s the sixth-largest property and casualty insurer on the planet, based on 2020 gross premiums, according to its website, with more than 50,000 employees doing business in 29 countries. Its 2021 revenue was $48.2 billion. The company started in 1912 and is based in Boston.
How Good an Insurance Company is Liberty Mutual?
There are about 6,000 insurance companies in the US. Researchers at the American Association for Justice (AAJ) named it the tenth worst insurance company in the US.
AAJ states this rating is due to a “comprehensive investigation” of:
- Court documents
- Securities and Exchange Commission and FBI records
- State insurance department investigations and complaints
- News accounts
- Testimony and depositions of former insurance agents and adjusters
Their list covers companies involved in many types of coverage.
According to the AAJ:
- Liberty Mutual hired business consulting giant McKinsey & Co. to become more profitable. Their strategy for insurance companies is decreasing what’s paid in claims, whether they’re valid or not
- The company is a leader in complaint rankings and stories of cheated victims
- Liberty Mutual faces litigation from its vendors who claim the company’s cost-cutting causes poor claims processing and a sharp increase in lawsuits against it
An insurer doesn’t grow this large without aggressively limiting costs, especially paying claims.
Why Shouldn’t I Negotiate With Liberty Mutual?
If you have a car accident with little damage and no or minor injuries, you don’t have much to lose by negotiating with a company representative. That person probably knows far more about insurance and the value of your case than you do. Negotiation is a big part of their job, while you may never negotiate anything. There’s not much at stake, so you can do your best to get the biggest settlement possible.
Problems arise if your injuries are severe, they impact your ability to work, your treatment’s complex, and it should continue for some time. The value of your case may be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your injuries are catastrophic, leaving you severely disabled, the settlement value of your case, depending on many issues, may be in the millions. The greater your case value, the more you have to lose by trying to negotiate with Liberty Mutual yourself.
You have two main challenges when negotiating a settlement by yourself. Because of our attorneys’ knowledge and experience, they’re not problems for us.
- You Don’t Know Your Case’s Value
If Liberty Mutual made you an offer, would you know if it’s fair or not? If it’s not, but you take it, you’re losing money. If you refuse it and demand something far higher, they may not counter-offer. They may just wait until you become more reasonable.
You don’t know your case’s value because you don’t know:
- Your case’s facts: Without a full, independent investigation that we provide our clients, you don’t know if there’s evidence making your case stronger or weaker
- The law: Like most people, you probably don’t know negligence or insurance law. You have the burden of proving your case. The law, as applied to your case given the facts, may or may not support your case
Without knowing your case’s value, you’re just “winging it,” and that’s a terrible approach if your case has a substantial value.
- You Don’t Know How to Negotiate
People constantly negotiate prices in other cultures. There are no fixed prices, so everyone bargains. That’s not the case in the US. Most Americans only negotiate prices when they buy or sell a car, and even that may end. Because so many of us are uncomfortable negotiating, many car sellers have stopped that approach. Buyers may pay more, but it’s worth it because they avoid the stress of haggling and second-guessing themselves over the price.
We don’t decide what offers to reject or accept. That’s up to you. But we’ll tell you, based on our experience, the case’s value, its strengths, and weaknesses, whether it’s worth taking or continuing the case is the better option. You won’t get that advice and counsel with DIY negotiations.
Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP attorneys have decades of experience practicing law. Nearly all of our cases end with a negotiated settlement. We know:
- Their approach to negotiating and contesting a car accident claim
- What information and evidence may result in Liberty Mutual increasing their offer
- The weaknesses they’ll claim to find in the case
- The arguments they’ll make when reducing a case’s value
- What we must do and say to put negotiations on the right track
- When to stop negotiating and start litigating
Liberty Mutual knows you won’t take your case to trial, so there’s no incentive to offer a fair settlement. They know we will litigate cases if an insurance company isn’t reasonable. That’s leverage that can push them toward a settlement both sides can live with.
Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP Negotiates Fair Settlements for Our Clients
Our attorneys have many years of legal experience helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Our Houston law office deals with major insurance providers, including Liberty Mutual, so you won’t have to. You can focus on your family and recovery while we work to get you the best outcome possible. Don’t worry about costs when you call us at 713-893-0971. We work on contingency, and we’ll evaluate your case during a free consultation.