After a car accident, victims typically expect the involved insurance company to respond fairly. However, the auto insurance industry is a thriving business, and like other businesses, it exists to turn a profit.
Unfortunately, many victims of car accidents in Roanoke, Virginia, often receive lowball settlement offers from insurance companies. Even worse, not everyone knows how to spot an offer that is too low.
Signs of an inadequate settlement offer
If this is your first car accident or you have suffered serious injuries, it is unwise to assume your settlement offer will cover all your medical or financial issues. A common practice in the insurance industry is to quickly offer a low amount, hoping that you’ll settle and give up your right to further actions. Signs that your offer may be too low include:
- An extremely speedy settlement offer
- Expressed doubt (from the insurer) about injuries
- Subtly or overtly blaming you for the crash
- Cutting off further communications
- Unwillingness to explain the math behind the offer
If you see any of the signs above, consider taking some time to analyze your situation before accepting the offer.
Two other steps to take
In addition to analyzing your settlement offer thoroughly, taking the steps outlined below can help you acquire a satisfactory settlement.
- Respond in writing: Express your concerns to the insurance company in your response, and make sure to include any documents the company has requested.
- Send a counteroffer: Letting the insurance company know what you expect to receive by way of a counteroffer can improve further negotiations. In some cases, the company might even accept your first counteroffer.
If your efforts to reach a fair settlement fail, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. In many cases, just the threat of litigation is enough to encourage a fair offer from the insurer.
Learning more about Virginia car accidents and insurance issues can also help you acquire an appropriate settlement. Sometimes, it’s better to have experienced help by your side when you’re dealing with an unfamiliar situation.