Should I Take the Low Settlement from My Insurance Company?
No! Any insurance settlement offer should be closely analyzed to make sure that it is fully compensating a person for their injuries. The sad fact is that insurance companies often make a lowball offer hoping that an injured victim will accept.
If you believe that the settlement offer is low, it probably is. Meet with a New York City personal injury lawyer for help properly valuing your claim.
Why Settlement Offers Are Low: Illegitimate Reasons
Many settlement offers are low for a simple reason: the insurance company is trying to negotiate with you, and they want to pay out as little as possible. Think of your own negotiation for a new or used car. If you start out with a high initial offer, you’ll end up paying too much. The same is true for an insurance company. They start low and only move up begrudgingly.
Insurance companies also expect that victims without lawyers will not understand how much their injuries are worth. This ignorance works to the insurance company’s advantage. Once a victim accepts a settlement offer, he or she will sign away any ability to get more compensation from this insurance company for the accident. Insurance companies know this and sometimes roll the dice that an injured victim will just quickly accept whatever low-ball offer is made.
Legitimate Reasons for a Low Settlement
Instead of quickly accepting a settlement offer, review it with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer. We can assess whether this offer represents the best offer for your case.
In some situations, an offer might be low but still fair:
- The insurer is offering the maximum under the policy. You might have $400,000 worth of medical bills and lost wages, but the policy is only for $100,000. An insurance company will not offer more.
- You are partially to blame for the accident. Any contributory negligence can reduce the amount of compensation. So if you were 40% to blame for the accident, you should expect to receive 40% less than you otherwise would.
- Evidence is weak that the defendant is to blame. If you are making a claim on someone else’s insurance policy (as opposed to your PIP benefits), then fault matters. The evidence might be very weak that the defendant caused your injuries. The alternative to accepting the settlement is to go into court and lose your lawsuit, in which you get zero money.
Seek the Help of an Experienced NYC Personal Injury Lawyer Today
No accident victim should try to analyze a claim without the help of a lawyer. Also, avoid listening to the insurance company telling you this is a good deal. The truth is that you need a lawyer on your side who can review the settlement to make sure it fairly compensates you.
At Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, we represent clients on contingency. This means that they do not pay any legal fees upfront. Instead, our lawyers only take a percentage of the settlement, which gives us an incentive to maximize the amount that our clients take home.
Call us today at 212-285-3300 or fill out our contact form.