Life post-accident can be tough to say the least. There is the pain of injury, possibly missing work, and the likelihood that medical bills are already beginning to pile up. After you file your claim with the insurance company, you are likely to be waiting with bated breath for their response. Upon hearing that they want to make a settlement offer, you may feel renewed hope that things will wrap up quickly. Then, you get the settlement offer amount. The initial offer is likely to be disappointing and perhaps downright demoralizing. Do not lose hope! There are plenty more steps in the settlement process to help improve that initial offer. Furthermore, if you don not reach a settlement with the insurance company, it does not have to be the end of the road.
What Happens If I Don’t Reach a Settlement With the Insurance Company?
The settlement process usually kicks off with your attorney sending the insurance company a demand letter. The letter will detail the specifics of the accident and your resulting injuries. It will also present an initial asking offer to the insurance company. The company will then respond by either accepting the settlement offer, denying the claim altogether, or, most likely, countering with their own initial offer.
As previously stated, the initial offer from the insurance company is likely to be extremely low. It is often simply the starting off point of the settlement negotiation process. There will be a series of back and forth offer exchanges with the insurance company. In the majority of cases, a settlement is reached with the insurance company. Sometimes, however, settlement negotiations fall through. The insurance company refuses to pay out what your attorney believes to be a fair amount on the claim.
When you reach an impasse in the settlement negotiations, it is time to seriously discuss the possibility of taking the next step, which is taking your claim to court. In some cases, just filing the lawsuit can be enough to signal to the insurance company that you are serious about going the distance in pursuing your claim and they may increase the settlement offer as a result. Prior to taking the steps towards a full blown trial, however, there must be a very real and honest discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. Not all claims are suited to trial. There may be big liability questions or hurdles regarding whether the accident cause your injuries or whether they were preexisting. If your claim is strong enough to go to trial, then that will likely be your next step.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
The dedicated personal injury team at Cooper, Schall & Levy stand strong up against the big insurance companies. We are unwavering in our dedication to our clients. We are steadfast in our negotiations and fight for the compensation you deserve. After an accident, reach out to us for assistance. Contact us today.