As a personal injury victim, you have certain rights. This includes receiving monetary compensation for injuries suffered due to the fault of another. Any financial losses that you have suffered as a result of your injuries, as well as past and future medical expenses, should be included in compensation offered to you. Moreover, an insurance company may also be held liable for covering additional costs related to the injury based on Nevada law and the policy terms.
Understanding Settlement Negotiations
While insurance companies know they have to pay compensation after an accident, their first concern is to close out claims for as little financial liability as possible while still staying within the law. While insurance companies often advertise that your well-being is their concern, the truth is that their biggest focus is their bottom line. Not surprisingly, insurance carriers will start the negotiation process by offering a low settlement that is often not enough to cover your losses. This is because insurers understand that some personal injury victims will accept a low offer. The reasons behind this could me many: They do not know any better, they are in dire financial circumstances, or they simply are afraid to pursue litigation. Whatever the reasons, it is critical to understand that accepting a low settlement offer, particularly one that is less than your losses, can lead to bigger issues down the line. Below are some tips on how to respond to an insurance company’s low settlement offer on your Las Vegas personal injury case.
Responding to Low Offers
It is important to know that when an insurance company makes its initial offer on a Las Vegas personal injury case, a plaintiff-victim should not accept it. The reason is because there is a high likelihood that the offer is a low one and does not realistically cover the losses suffered by the personal injury victim. A personal injury victim generally does not know how long his or her recovery will take, the extent of the losses suffered, nor if he or she will be able to return to work.
While you do not have to accept a low-ball offer, you do have to respond to one. First, after waiting a day or two, respectfully decline the offer and make a counter offer. A counter offer should include a total dollar amount and the reasons behind this number. It is important to thoroughly explain how you arrived at this dollar amount because the insurer may accept the offer to settle. Some of the items that should be included in the proposal for settlement include:
Cost of necessary past, current and future (if any) medical care for injuries;
Loss of past and future wages;
Loss of past, current, and future financial contributions;
If you qualify, costs for retraining and/or disability;
Cost of services typically performed previously, but now unable to due to injuries;
If allowed by law, pain and suffering;
If allowed by law and applicable to your case, loss of consortium;
Other benefits that are guaranteed under Nevada law and/or the insurance contract terms.
Help From a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney
When you hire a Las Vegas personal injury attorney, you are providing yourself an advantage in regards to negotiating a settlement on your case. Contact the skilled attorneys at Parry & Pfau today to schedule your initial case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Pepi Stojanovski)