How do I respond to a low settlement offer?
Going through a car accident can make your life stressful enough. However, things might feel even worse when the claims adjuster for the insurance company presents you with a shockingly low settlement offer. However, this is not a time to panic. This is just one of the first steps to getting you the compensation you deserve.
According to FindLaw, when a claims adjuster presents you with a low offer, you may take some steps to respond to it. These steps may help you to reach an amount that best meets your needs.
Add up your expenses
First, before you enter into negotiations with an adjuster, compile your expenses resulting from your accident so you can reach the payment range that best addresses your accident costs. Keep this amount to yourself. Knowing what to aim for can help inspire confidence since you understand whether or not you are making progress toward your desired solution.
Keep a cool head if you receive a low first offer. The insurance company might be using a negotiating tactic to get you to agree to a low amount. The insurer may gamble that you will decrease your price upon receiving a low offer because you think the adjuster will never offer you the amount you want. Remain calm and proceed to your next step in the negotiation.
Prepare questions and arguments
If the adjuster provides no justification for the low offer, you may need to ask the adjuster for an explanation concerning the low amount. If you do receive an explanation, you may argue your case by refuting the points provided by the adjuster. Present evidence that bolsters your claims, but do not ignore any worthwhile points made by the adjuster.
Ready for a prolonged negotiation
Be prepared for your negotiation to take time. Some motor vehicle accidents can take as long as several months. It is natural to feel distressed or angry that things are not proceeding as quickly as you want, especially if you are dealing with medical problems and other complications resulting from the accident. Remain calm and professional, and if necessary, check on the progress of your case if you do not hear back after a few weeks.