If someone else’s negligence causes you to be injured in an accident, you’ll seek compensation from the insurance provider of the at-fault party. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith, however, it can make reaching your fullest recovery out of reach. The best way to help ensure that you receive the settlement to which you are entitled is by consulting with experienced injury lawyers in Austin, Texas from the outset.
What’s In This Guide
- If Your Settlement Offer Is Too Low
- Your Physical, Financial, and Emotional Losses
- If the Insurance Company Isn’t Negotiating Fairly
- Your Personal Injury Attorney’s Role
- You Have Options
- Filing a Lawsuit
If Your Settlement Offer Is Too Low
Once the insurance company makes a settlement offer, it can feel like a lifesaver. It’s important to recognize, however, that once you accept a settlement, it finalizes the matter, and you won’t get another chance. Before accepting a personal injury settlement, it is always in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney who is well acquainted with the specifics of your claim. If, in the end, you disagree with the settlement offer, there is work ahead, and a dedicated personal injury attorney is standing by to help.
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Your Physical, Financial, and Emotional Losses
You shouldn’t accept a settlement offer unless it adequately addresses your full range of physical, financial, and emotional losses (or legal damages), which divide into three basic categories
The medical costs associated with personal injury claims are often extensive and can include:
- Emergency services
- Surgical services
- Hospital stays
- Treatment and care from doctors and other medical professionals
- Medical treatments, tests, and procedures
- Pain management
- Physical therapy or occupational therapy
- Prescription medications
- Chiropractic care
- Adaptive physical devices
- Home health care
It’s also important to address any ongoing healthcare needs that you have or any secondary healthcare concerns that arise.
Your injuries can keep you off the job, which can translate to lost earnings. The matter becomes that much more serious if your injuries affect your ability to do your job or to continue growing your career.
Physical and Psychic Pain and Suffering
There is also the matter of your emotional well-being to consider, and your physical and psychological pain and suffering should receive the careful attention it deserves.
If your complete range of legal damages aren’t adequately addressed in the settlement offer you receive, you’re well-advised to disagree with that settlement offer.
[Related Article] Can a Pre-Existing Condition Affect a Austin Personal Injury Claim?
If the Insurance Company Isn’t Negotiating Fairly
The insurance company that is handling your claim is in the business of elevating its profits, and the way it manages to accomplish this goal is by keeping settlements like yours low. In fact, insurance companies employ a wide range of approaches to get this job done, including:
- Making a lowball settlement offer early in the process (before you recognize exactly how extensive your losses are)
- Complicating the claims process in the hope that you will give up and accept whatever settlement offer comes your way (out of desperation)
- Attempting to shift blame away from their policyholder and toward you
- Attempting to downplay the severity of your damages
- Declining your claim early on (hoping that the discouragement you experience will halt you in your tracks)
Allowing your seasoned personal injury attorney to take on the insurance company is the best practice.
Your Personal Injury Attorney’s Role
Your personal injury attorney will help you understand the full extent of your losses – to help ensure that you don’t settle for an amount that fails to address your complete damages. In fact, your personal injury attorney will help in all the following ways:
- Ensuring that you disagree with any settlement offer that is inadequate to the task of covering your complete losses
- Building your strongest claim by gathering all relevant evidence, including eyewitness testimony
- Hiring expert witnesses whose expertise supports your claim
- Communicating with the insurance company regarding your claim
- Negotiating with the insurance company for your just compensation
- Preparing for trial in the event the insurance company declines to engage in fair negotiations
You Have Options
If the insurance company’s settlement offer isn’t adequate, there are alternative dispute resolution options (ADR) such as mediation available to you. At mediation, you and your personal injury attorney and the insurance company’s legal representative will meet with a professional mediator – who acts as a neutral third party to help you and the other side hammer out a settlement that both of you deem acceptable. Mediation has all the following advantages:
- It is generally less costly and less time-consuming than going to court.
- It remains a private matter (court records are public).
- The process is far less formal than proceeding to trial, which means it’s likely to be less intimidating.
- The decision-making power remains in your hands (the outcome is only binding if you sign off on it).
Filing a Lawsuit
If the insurance company is not willing to budge on the matter, you and your personal injury attorney will likely proceed with filing a lawsuit against it. The important point to remember here is that the very act of filing your case may be just what the insurance company needs in the way of encouragement (to negotiate more fairly). Your recovery is too important to give in to the insurance company’s less-than-forthright practices. Standing your ground and assertively advocating for your rights is the best path forward, and your savvy personal injury attorney has what it takes to help.
Don’t Put Off Consulting with an Experienced AustinPersonal Injury Attorney
If you disagree with the insurance company’s settlement offer, you have options, and the focused Austin personal injury attorneys at The Patel Firm are here to help you explore them. You have legal rights, and our accomplished legal team is here to skillfully uphold those rights while assertively advocating for your rightful compensation. To learn more about what we can do to help you, please do not wait to contact or call us at 361-400-2036 today.