Strategies For Increasing The Value Of Settlement Offers In Motor Vehicle Accidents Cases

Insurance companies handle thousands upon thousands of personal injury claims resulting from motor vehicle accidents each year. It is not uncommon for a victim of a motor vehicle accident to find that the offer made by the insurance company to settle their personal injury claim is significantly less than the apparent actual value of that claim. No doubt some of these low offers are the result of an honest error in the way an adjuster has valued the claim. But as attorneys who represent victims in motor vehicle accident cases know this happens with too much frequency to be due to simple error or miscalculation. Indeed, there appear to be two distinction situations in which such low settlement offers tend to be made. Below we examine each situation in order to try to understand the possible financial motivations that may lie behind deliberately making a low offer.
First, consider those claims that arise from injuries which resolve with treatment and which generally have a value that falls in the low end – say for no more than $20,000. For these claims it can be very tempting for the victim to accept a quick settlement offer even if it is a few thousand dollars below what the true value of the claim might be. The victim may decide Office Of The Public Guardian that it is better to accept a low settlement offer today then wait three to four years to obtain the full value of the case. And the victim may decide that the difference is likely to not be substantial when the additional costs of litigation and trial together with the portion of the difference that will go toward attorney’s fees are taken into consideration.
Add to that the amount of time the victim will have to devote to pursuing the claim including submitting themselves to independent medical examinations, having to answer interrogatories, having to appear at a deposition, and having to appear at a trial – all of which may also result in lost time from work, and it might appear that accepting the low offer makes more sense economically. From the perspective of the insurance company the savings that comes from a quick settlement for a modestly low amount (whether it be as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as a few thousand dollars) can, when multiplied by similar savings across thousands of other claims, can quickly turn into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars – much of which can go directly into profit.
Next, consider the situation where the victim was more seriously injured and the value of the case is significantly higher. Victims in this group sometimes experience financial difficulty in part due to the costs of medical treatment as well as lost time from work. Indeed victims who suffer catastrophic injuries may be unable to return to work for a long time, if ever. If the victim does not have proper health and disability insurance he or she will soon feel the impact and may experience significant pressure to accept a quick but low settlement offer in order to relieve that pressure.
It is thus not hard to understand why insurance companies might make a settlement offer that is lower than the actual value of a victim’s claim. Insurance companies are, after all, in business to make a profit. And this is something insurance companies do extremely well.
Even if it is for a low amount an offer to settle quickly that addresses the victim’s main concern, whether that be an immediate need for money to pay rising bills or avoid a long and unpleasant period of litigation, might be taken by enough victims that it more than offsets the risks associated by taking this approach. In many cases the approach addresses some very real concerns of many victims. In some cases, however, it is simply not fair to the victim. Delaware Mesothelioma Lawyer When that happens, a skilled and experienced attorney can thoroughly prepare the case for trial so as to try to achieve the best possible outcome for the victim. A large part of this includes finding ways to increase the risk to the insurance company that taking the case to trial could result in an adverse award. This is the one factor that is likely to make the difference in whether an acceptable settlement offer will ultimately be made in these cases.

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