If you don’t know the approaches insurance adjusters use, you might accept a low auto accident offer without knowing. Here are some signs that indicate the adjuster’s offer is low.
The Adjuster Has Just Made the First Offer
An auto accident settlement is a negotiation process. In a typical negotiation, the paying party starts low, and the receiving party starts high. The insurance companies know this, so they rarely start with the maximum amount they can pay. For example, if the insurance company makes an initial offer of $100,000, they will likely pay more than that.
The Adjuster’s Offer Came Too Soon After the Accident
A good offer takes a reasonable time to determine. After all, the insurance company should account for all the damages, including:
- Your past and future medical treatment and bills
- Property damages and their repair or replacement costs
- Projected or future damages, such as lost wages
Determining all these damages and getting their monetary values is not easy. If the offer comes too fast, then the adjuster has probably not accounted for some of these things.
The Adjuster Hasn’t Considered All the Evidence
The value of an auto accident claim depends on the damages, and the best way to prove the damages is to analyze the available evidence. Evidence comes in various forms, such as:
- Medical history
- Repair estimates or receipts
- Existing work contracts
- Picture and video footage of the accident
Ideally, the adjuster should review all the available evidence before making an offer. Thus, you should tread carefully if you haven’t submitted some evidence (such as your medical history), but the adjuster already has an offer on the table.
The Adjuster Is Blaming You
Adjusters commonly blame accident victims to justify low settlements. The tactic is especially common when the plaintiff’s injuries are clear, and the adjuster cannot claim otherwise. For example, an insurance adjuster might claim that you were driving too fast, given the circumstances. Thus, you should suspect any offer the adjuster might make while blaming you.
The Adjuster Hasn’t Justified Their Offer
In many cases, the insurance adjuster will try to justify every offer they make. For example, the adjuster might claim that:
- You contributed to the accident
- You failed to mitigate your losses
- You had preexisting injuries
- You had unnecessary treatments
Therefore, you should be suspicious if you receive an offer without any explanation or justification. The lack of explanation might mean that the adjuster can’t justify their offer or their justifications lack weight.
The Adjuster Is Discouraging Legal Consultation
Some insurance adjusters may discourage you from involving a lawyer in your case. For example, the adjuster might tell you that:
- You have a simple case that doesn’t require a lawyer’s involvement
- Working with a lawyer will reduce your payout (due to the lawyer’s cut)
- Working with a lawyer will slow down the process and delay your payout
Be wary of such adjusters and their offers. Most likely, the adjuster knows that their offer is low, and a lawyer will spot it and negotiate a higher offer.
The Adjuster Is Pressuring You
Lastly, you should also be careful if an adjuster wants you to accept their offer as soon as possible. Ideally, you should have time to evaluate each offer and get back to the adjuster later. An adjuster who comes with a form that you should sign to accept on the spot is probably lowballing you.
Don’t let an insurance adjuster talk you into accepting a low settlement offer. Contact the Wenck Firm, LLC, to help you maximize your settlement. We will evaluate your case, negotiate your settlement, or even go to court if necessary.
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