Many people are surprised when their pursuit of restitution following an accident results in a personal injury settlement offer. The fact is that few of these cases make it to trial – it takes a lot of time and money to go to court, and these are resources an insurance company would rather spend elsewhere. This means you will probably also be spared the often unpleasant experience of going to court.
In the vast majority of cases, an insurance company’s claims adjuster sends the plaintiff a personal injury settlement offer. This offer may or may not meet expectations; either way, it can be hard to determine what sort of response is appropriate to send. If you have received a personal injury settlement offer, here are a few tips to help you decide how you should respond to the offer:
Why not refuse the personal injury settlement offer and go to court?
Opting to go to court can be stressful and expensive, and it almost certainly delays your receipt of compensation. And if you lose the case, you won’t receive a dime. But if the personal injury settlement offer is completely unacceptable or downright insulting, you will have few other options.
How do I know if the offer is an appropriate amount?
Consider your medical bills, the cost of replacing your property that was damaged or lost in the incident, your lost wages from missed work days, and your pain and suffering. Most of these things can be calculated, so make sure all of those costs are covered in the offer. Pain and suffering is far more subjective. A few missed days of work may not get you much in the way of what we call “general damages,” but disfigurement, extensive hospitalization, and extended recovery times should be generously compensated by the insurance company.
Can I negotiate the personal injury settlement offer?
Certainly! Rejecting a settlement or asking for a counter-offer can be an excellent way to both get the compensation you deserve and avoid going to trial. The best way to handle all settlement negotiations is through an attorney. It’s the safest way to make sure your side of the issue is handled correctly and quickly.
A qualified Georgia personal injury attorney can guide you through the entire process of filing a claim and responding to a personal injury settlement offer. Select an attorney with a strong reputation for getting results and serving the best interest of their clients. A lawyer with extensive personal injury experience is your best bet for achieving the outcomes you desire and deserve.