How To Handle Low Insurance Offers
Whether you have been involved in a car accident, truck accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, etc., you may have to file a claim with your insurance provider, or the other at fault party’s insurance company. It could be very stressful to deal with insurance companies. Insurance companies may be accused of bad faith practices. California law requires all drivers to have car insurance.
Many people purchase insurance in the hopes that they are covered in the case of an accident. But what happens when an insurance company fails to properly payout a claim? Below is an article that discusses the next steps an insured can take to make sure that they have the proper compensation for their claim. Our experienced car accident attorneys understand how stressful it may be to be involved in an accident and to deal with loopholes insurance companies may bring up. That is why we fight tirelessly to make sure the no insured is taken advantage of by their insurance company. If you feel as though you have been taken advantage of by your insurance company with a low offer amount, contact us today to see how we can help you deal with your insurance.
Bad faith occurs when the insurance company engages in some type of practice that does not align with their promise of good faith. California law mandates that all insurance companies act in good faith. Insurance companies have a duty to defend their policyholders, and pay out their insurance in good faith. Some examples of bad faith practices by an insurance company include:
- Delay in insurance investigations
- Improper insurance investigations
- Denying an insurance claim without paying benefits
- Manipulating the insured to admit liability
- Low settlement offers
- Failing to cover the insurance claim
When an insurance company fails to act in good faith, hiring an attorney is necessary to make a claim against the insurance company. Call us today to schedule your free no obligation consultation to see if the actions that you have suffered are bad faith practices by an insurance company.
What is a good faith obligation?
An insurance company has to always act in good faith with every contract that they have with their insured. This means that California’s implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is attached to every contract an insurance company makes. An insurance company has a duty to act within the contract and follow the contract. A good-faith duty includes:
- Settling a claim with third parties
- Settling a claim with insurance
- Investigating a claim
- Paying out the claim when it falls under the proper requirements
If an insurance company fails to follow any of the above actions, they could be held liable in a separate bad faith lawsuit. There are several other types of bad faith examples that may occur and are not covered on this page. If you think that you have experienced any type of bad faith actions by an insurance company, contact our attorneys today to see if they have breached the covenant of good faith. You should not have to suffer from an insurance company.
If you have been involved in a car accident, bus accident, truck accident, etc., you most likely will receive a low settlement offer from your insurance company. Although you do not need an attorney to help you throughout a lawsuit, it is advised that you have one to get the maximum compensation from your insurance company.
What should an insurance settlement amount cover?
Many people think that a settlement amount should just cover the medical bills you have suffered. But that is not the case, an insurance settlement should take into consideration:
- Past medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Future loss of income
Usually, many people may be offered a very little settlement amount since the insurance company will just take into account 1 type of damage. First, we recommend that you have your claim assessed by an accident attorney to determine how much you should settle for with your insurance company.
What should I do if an insurance company has offered me a low settlement amount?
If the insurance company has offered a very low settlement amount, below are some steps you can take:
- Make sure that your initial offer took into consideration all of your damages. If you start with a low offer with the insurance company, they most likely will counter with an even lower amount. Make sure that you have consulted with an attorney to see what the best number may be.
- Make sure that you are calm. When dealing with an insurance company, you always want to make sure that you are calm and you will not say something you regret. Insurance companies sometimes try to agitate their insurance by getting them to admit liability. If their insured were to admit liability, then their payout would be much less. Insurance companies always want to pay as little as possible. That is why our insurance attorneys do not recommend that our clients speak to an insurance agent when they are alone. If you feel as though you might say something That will ruin your claim, it is best advised that you have an attorney on your side.
- Submit a counter offer to the insurance company. If your insurance company has offered you a very low settlement amount, make sure that you decline and make a counteroffer. Make sure that you offer a high amount simply because the insurance company will not agree to that high counteroffer, and instead the insurance company will offer an even lower amount. Keep in mind that the settlement offer could potentially be the average of the insurance initial offer and your initial offer.
- Make sure that you do not accept a low settlement offer from your insurance company. Insurance companies will always try to delay the process as much as possible, hoping that their insured will get tired out and accept the low amount at the end of the day. This is a very common tactic that almost all insurance companies use. It is important that you remain strong and calm and alert of this tactic. In the case that you do not end up settling with your insurance company, you will then have to file a lawsuit against the company, or go to trial depending on when you filed your insurance claim.
Contact our top rated car accident attorneys today to:
- See how much your claim is worth
- Calculate the future damages and compensation you may need
- Negotiate with insurance company on your behalf
- Determine when the statute of limitations applies in your case
- Make sure that all of the proper paperwork is filed with the court
- Determine whether you should settle or go to trial against the insurance company
- Gather all the necessary evidence to submit to the insurance company to strengthen your case
Call our car accident attorneys today for a free initial consultation. You can reach us by phone or by email. We also have several offices located in several cities in California. To see how we can help you with your claim against your insurance company, contact us today.