Dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy. Even if you have a strong case, getting a fair settlement offer from an insurance company can be difficult. Insurers are profit-making enterprises. They have a fundamental goal of resolving claims for the lowest amount possible. Often, this means that insurance companies offer injured victims significantly less than they rightfully deserve. Here, our Spokane insurance lawyers offer five useful tips for responding to an unfair settlement offer.
Five Tips for Responding to a Lowball Settlement Offer
1. Analyze and Understand the Offer
Receiving an unfair settlement offer is stressful and frustrating, At this time, it is crucial that you remain calm and take the time to understand the situation. Remember, insurance companies rarely lead with their best and final offer—even if they try to represent an offer as such. Review the terms of the office and consider your damages. Do not agree to settle your case for less than it is worth. Insurance companies frequently use time as a tactic. They know that many people want to settle their cases as quickly as possible.
2. Seek Professional Legal Representation
If you were injured in an accident and the insurance company is offering you less than you deserve, you need to speak to an experienced attorney. Not only will your lawyer let you know the true value of your case, but they will be able to take action to help you effectively pursue your claim. Insurance companies put a lot of money into training their representatives. Your lawyer will level the playing field.
3. Carefully Document Your Injuries and Damages
To get a full and fair settlement offer, you need compelling and well-organized evidence. Insurance companies simply do not pay until they have seen proof of damages. An attorney will help you ensure that the full extent of your injuries are documented—thereby allowing you to recover the financial compensation that you deserve.
4. Respond in Writing
Do not call an insurance adjuster to negotiate after a lowball settlement offer. Let your attorney handle all correspondence with the insurer. Instead of doing it over the phone, it is best to respond to an unfair settlement offer in writing. A formal written response—which will typically include a counteroffer—is far more effective in achieving successful results.
5. You May Have a Bad Faith Claim
If the insurance company is not treating you fairly, you may have an additional claim. Insurers have a duty to engage in good faith settlement practices. Under Washington law (WAC 284-30-330), an insurance company that offers an unreasonably low settlement may be in violation of its legal obligations.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Washington insurance denial lawyers are strong, attentive advocates for clients. If you were offered an unreasonable, low settlement, we can help get you the full financial compensation that you rightfully deserve. To schedule a free consultation, please contact us right away. Call (509) 495-1246. With an office in Spokane, we serve communities all over Eastern Washington.