Why You Should Never Negotiate with Insurance Companies After an Accident

After being involved in an accident, whether it’s an injury you sustained on someone else’s property or in a car crash, you’re going to get settlement offers from an insurance company. These offers can range from under $100 to thousands of dollars, but even if you get what seems like a high number, that doesn’t mean you should accept. It may not be in your best interest to negotiate, either.

It's not that negotiating isn’t smart – it is. However, negotiating with an insurance company is like hitting your head against a brick wall. You’re in a losing position from the start and any wins you experience will be miniscule.

1. Your case value likely exceeds all offers

First and foremost, if you’ve been injured, you’re going to experience medical bills piling up along with household bills and personal expenses. If you have to take time off work, you can add lost wages to that tally.

When an insurance company offers you a settlement, it’s not going to cover more than medical bills and physical property damage. You won’t get compensated for the wages you’ve lost and certainly won’t get anything for pain and suffering.

The true value of your case is likely much bigger than what the insurance company makes it out to be, and that’s why you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney to take your case. What an insurance company offers will be small potatoes compared to the compensation you can potentially recover through a lawsuit. 

Attorneys know how to value injury cases, and if you qualify for compensation beyond medical bills and property damage, they’ll fight hard to get you all that you deserve.

2. There is a cap on what you can negotiate

Insurance companies are for-profit corporations that prioritize their bottom line at all times. When an insurance adjuster offers you an initial settlement amount, it will always be small because they’re hoping you’ll accept it so they can close the case.

Some people negotiate the initial offer and go back and forth several times, but even when you “win,” it’s still a dead end. Insurance adjusters are given a maximum payout for each case and they can’t go over that amount. You can only negotiate up to a certain point. Even if you have the best negotiation skills in the world, you’re not going to get more than what the insurance adjuster is allowed to offer. The difference between your true case value and this maximum can be thousands of dollars.

3. Negotiating is exhausting

Have you ever tried negotiating a fair price for something where the other person held onto their high price and would not come down for anything? That’s what it’s like negotiating with insurance. They don’t want to pay you. Their only goal is to protect their profitability. Sometimes they even ignore valid claims and deny payouts, hoping to get away with it.

If you decide to battle with an insurance company by engaging in negotiations, you will only exhaust yourself for what will amount to a small reward. Even lawyers know it’s not worth negotiating directly most of the time, so they file personal injury lawsuits on behalf of their clients. Insurance companies will always lowball offers, even to attorneys, outside of a lawsuit because there are no potential consequences for shady behavior.

4. An attorney can get you more money

Hands down, you have a better chance of getting a decent settlement through an attorney rather than trying to haggle an insurance adjuster for pennies. If you have a strong case and a skilled attorney, you’ll be in a better position taking the insurance company to court.

If you’re skeptical about maximizing your profits through a lawsuit, don’t worry about that. Not only are insurance companies legally required to pay out on claims, but they have plenty of money. You deserve every dollar you can get. Not only will you need to pay medical bills, but if you’re taking time off work to heal, you’ll need the money to cover your rent or mortgage, food, electricity, etc.

Talk to an attorney before accepting a settlement

No matter what an insurance company offers you, always consult an attorney before accepting an offer. Once you accept, you generally lose the right to sue the insurance company later. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out you could have received so much more in compensation. Consult with an attorney to make the right move!

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