Things to Know Before Accepting the First Settlement Offer From an Insurer

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on April 6, 2020 and updated on March 6, 2022.

insurance settlement offerAfter an accident, all you want to concentrate on is healing from your injury. However, the insurance company may contact you to discuss the details of what happened and try to resolve your claim as quickly as possible.

Accepting an initial settlement offer may not be enough to cover the damages that you have suffered. This is why negotiating your personal injury settlement with an insurance company should be handled with an experienced lawyer by your side.

Our Maryland personal injury lawyers at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices want to help you understand the full extent of your damages before agreeing to a settlement offer. Let us help you understand your rights and available legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation.

The Settlement Process for an Insurance Company

Once a claim has been filed, the insurance company will appoint an adjuster to handle the claim. This often involves the following step by step process:

  • Getting the insured’s version of events – The insurer will be reaching out to inquire about how the accident occurred. They will be asking for your version of events and compare them to the accident or police report that is filed, witness testimony and what the other side says happened.
  • Investigating the victim – The insurer will look into whether or not you have previously filed a claim before for another accident. They may also look at your social platforms to see if you are discussing the incident, including your injuries, with any friends or family online.
  • Investigating the claim – The insurer will conduct a detailed investigation into your claim that may include reconstructing the accident or reviewing medical records before making an offer.
  • Determining the settlement value – The insurer will then attempt to value the claim by figuring out the chances you have to win in court and how much a jury may award you in damages.
  • First settlement offer – After arriving to a settlement figure, the insurer will decide what to offer. This first offer is a percentage of what the insurer thinks is the final value of your claim.
  • Negotiating the claim – Your lawyer is looking to obtain a settlement that accurately reflects your damages, which is why there may be many negotiations back and forth with the insurer.
  • Agreeing to the settlement – You and the insurer must both agree to settle the claim. In doing so, you will be asked to sign a release of liability to be issued payment.

If a settlement is not reached and you have a viable claim, we are ready to go to trial, if necessary.

Responding to a Settlement Offer

In most cases, the first settlement offer is almost always a lowball offer. This is because an insurer’s bottom line is to save themselves money. They are looking out for their best interests, not yours.

You personal injury lawyer will need to review the settlement offer and determine why the insurer is offering that amount. He or she may even provide additional documentation to help support your claim.

What If I Reject the First Offer?

To reject the first offer, you will need to write a counteroffer letter to be sent to the claims adjuster. This letter should include that you do not accept the offer, why you deserve a higher settlement amount, and the settlement amount that you would be willing to accept. Be professional and courteous, and never attack the adjuster in a counteroffer letter. Your lawyer can also help you prepare a response.

Knowing When to Accept a Settlement

It is important to not accept a settlement until you have recovered from your injuries. The more serious your injuries, the more likely you will require extensive medical treatment that will not be considered after you have agreed to an offer. You want to make sure that you are compensated for all of the  damages that you have incurred and may continue to incur if you have not yet properly healed.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company can be an overwhelming experience. This is why you need legal representation on your side to guide you throughout the claims process. We have helped advocate for many victims to seek maximum compensation for their injuries.

Our consultations are 100 percent free. There is no risks or obligations involved. We are prepared to help you remotely at this time. There are no upfront fees for our services unless you obtain compensation.

Our legal team is available over the phone 24/7. 410-244-7005.