Car accident victims in Las Vegas will need to consider a variety of factors to help them determine whether they should accept the insurance company’s settlement offer. Although most injury cases settle out of court, it might be best to go to trial if the insurance company refuses to pay what the claim is worth.
Evaluating the Initial Offer
After a car accident, the insurance company often makes the initial settlement offer before the victim has a chance to realize the extent of his or her injuries and losses. In many cases, supplemental documentation such as the prognosis, physical therapy, lost wages, or even reduced capacity to work is not yet available to the victim or the insurance adjuster.
Additionally, insurance companies do not prioritize helping the people injured by their clients. They are motivated by minimizing their company’s financial exposure. To achieve their goal, insurance companies frequently pressure injured parties to accept lower offers than they might otherwise receive.
In most cases, victims should not accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer. Injured parties who believe the initial offer is too low to compensate for their medical costs, injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages can negotiate with the adjuster. The victim’s auto accident attorney must support a demand for a larger injury settlement with:
- Supplemental medical records denoting physical therapy and the prognosis.
- A letter from the medical provider describing limited workability and timeline.
- Wage statements from their employer.
- Receipts for additional costs such as medical equipment.
Injured parties can also request the adjuster justify the basis for the initial settlement offer. For example, the injured party might ask about the basis for the number, the documentation the adjuster used, or whether all accident-related expenses were taken into account.
While settlements are generally much quicker than trials, it’s not uncommon for settlement negotiations to continue for months, or even years after a car accident happens.
Victims who take their injury cases to trial have the potential to recover more compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering and reduction of their quality of life. When an insurer refuses to budge with its offer, the statute of limitations is close to running out, or an auto accident attorney feels the victim has a valuable case, it may make sense to proceed with taking the case to court.