If you were injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, such as a car crash or slip-and-fall accident, you will probably hear from the liable person’s insurance company in the days after the accident. How you act and what you say when speaking to the insurance adjuster is of paramount importance, as anything you disclose could potentially be used against you to reduce or even deny your claim.
If you have been injured in an accident and someone else is to blame, then you should immediately consult with one of the dedicated Fairfax personal injury attorneys at Leary Law. Navigating the claims process on your own can ultimately cost you both time and money, and our skilled attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you fight for a fair settlement. Contact us today to discuss your case and better understand your legal options.
How An Adjuster Approaches Claims
The most important thing to remember about insurance companies is that they are for-profit entities. Insurance companies are loyal to their shareholders, not their policyholders. This means that it is an insurance adjuster’s job to pay out as little as possible to the claimant. Part of that process involves using various tactics to reduce or deny claims. The goal of the insurance adjuster is to get you to accept the lowest possible settlement.
When an insurance adjuster calculates your settlement, they will typically take several factors into consideration:
- The cost of any medical bills
- The amount of income lost due to inability to work
- The Pain and suffering you have experienced
- Other negative consequences of your injuries
The adjuster will also consider the policyholder’s insurance limits. If you were injured in a fall on someone else’s property and they have a $100,000 homeowner’s insurance policy, the insurance company will never offer more than that $100,000.
Another factor is the relative strength of your case. The more money you are likely to win in a lawsuit if a settlement can’t be reached, the more likely they are to offer you a large settlement.
What To Do If An Insurance Company Approaches Me To Settle?
Insurance companies want to get your case resolved as quickly and as cheaply as possible. To do this, they may offer you a lowball settlement right off the bat. This initial offer may seem generous at first glance. But you can be sure that it is typically far less than the amount you need and deserve. You also may not yet be in a position to know exactly how much you are owed, particularly if the accident occurred recently and you are still recovering from your injuries.
Because of this, the last thing you should do is accept the initial offer, as you may end up having to cover many of your own injury-related expenses out of pocket later on. And by accepting a settlement offer, you basically forfeit your rights to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney before you begin settlement talks.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Could Help
A personal injury lawyer will have the resources to launch an independent investigation into the accident, gather evidence to support your claim, properly assess the damages that you are owed by the at-fault individual, and then enter into negotiations with that person’s insurance company. Personal injury attorneys are intimately familiar with the tactics that insurance adjusters use to try and reduce their financial obligations to injury victims. They know how to subvert those tactics by presenting the insurance company with irrefutable evidence of their liability, thereby increasing your chances of getting the settlement you actually deserve.
Contact a Fairfax Injury Attorney Today
If you have sustained an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, then you have a right to claim compensation. The claims process can be challenging to navigate, and it is very easy for the layperson to make a mistake that could end up costing them a good deal of money. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have an experienced Fairfax personal injury lawyer by your side.
Contact Leary Law today to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options. We look forward to learning more about your experience and your particular needs during this free, no-obligation consultation.