How to Avoid a Low-Ball Settlement from the Insurance Company
If you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you might think that you’ll seek damages by pursuing the party responsible for causing the incident. It’s a common, logical assumption, but it’s not true in most cases. The more likely scenario is that you’ll file a claim with the insurance company that provides coverage for the person or entity at fault. Initially, the process seems as easy as filling out a few forms, but you could soon find out that it’s much more challenging. Instead of getting an offer to fully compensate you for your losses, you’re more likely to get a low-ball settlement from the insurance adjuster.
Fortunately, there are strategies to overcome these challenges and recover a fair, reasonable amount through your insurance claim. Our attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC know the tactics insurers use to reject your claim or settle for less than you deserve. We’re prepared to counter their tricks, and we’ll apply a few of our own proven methodologies in fighting for your rights. Please contact our Charlotte, NC office today to set up a no-cost consultation with a North Carolina personal injury attorney. Call us at (980) 237-4579 or use our online contact form.
1. Get Prompt Medical Treatment
As soon as possible after being injured in an accident, you should seek medical care that’s appropriate for your injuries. In serious incidents, the decision may be made for you as first responders transport you to the hospital. However, you should head straight to the emergency room if:
- You’re bleeding excessively;
- You suffered trauma to the head or internal organs;
- You lost consciousness;
- You’re having difficulty breathing; or,
- Your suffering from severe or life-threatening injuries.
For bodily harm that’s relatively minor, it’s still important to get proper medical attention. Go to a local urgent care center for injuries that require same-day treatment, or visit your primary care physician within 72 hours after the accident. An insurance adjuster will definitely make a low-ball settlement if you delay too long.
2. Gather as Much Evidence as Possible at the Scene
Your physical injuries may affect these efforts, but you should do your best to collect information while you’re still present at the scene of the accident. Use your cell phone to take pictures, such as damage to vehicles in an auto crash or hazardous conditions on property. If there were any witnesses who aren’t family or friends, get their contact information. Their observations may be important when it comes to proving that the other person was at fault – and you were NOT.
3. Notify the Responsible Party’s Insurance Company
Even before you fill out forms, you should contact the insurer who provides coverage for the person or entity whose negligence caused your injuries. However, you should only provide basic contact information during this conversation. Don’t mention the nature of your injuries or your medical treatment, and refuse to answer questions about how you think the accident happened. Simply state that your attorney will be in touch.
In addition, never, under any circumstances, allow your statements to be recorded. If you reveal too much, the insurance company may use your words against you and try to persuade you to accept a low-ball settlement.
4. Start an Injury Journal
Some of your losses are definable, so you can prove them through receipts, invoices, income tax records, and other documentation. However, other damages are more subjective, especially your pain and suffering. An insurance company may allege that you lack proof if you don’t have paperwork to support this aspect of your claim. As such, you’ll need to do the next best thing: Create it. Begin a diary of your experiences as you recover from your injuries, including entries for:
- The types of treatment, such as surgery, pain medications, outpatient procedures, physical therapy, and others;
- Every doctor’s appointment;
- How your injuries affect your relationships with loved ones;
- Your physical limitations;
- Diminished quality of life from not being able to enjoy favorite activities; and,
- Other relevant details.
You may avoid a low-ball settlement when you’ve documented this information in an injury journal. Plus, your diary will also help refresh your memories later on in the claims or litigation process.
5. Contact a North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away
When you retain an experienced attorney to handle your claim, you have the advantage in dealings with the responsible party’s insurance company. You’ve already been a victim once; don’t put your interests at further risk by attempting to take on the claims process alone.
Protect Yourself By Contacting Randall & Stump, PLLC
You can count on our team at Randall & Stump, PLLC to protect your rights as the victim of an accident. If the insurer offers a low-ball settlement, we’ll take the matter to court. Please contact our Charlotte, NC office today to learn more about how we can assist with filing an injury claim. You can set up your free case evaluation by calling (980) 237-4579.