Posted on: 14 October 2015Share
Pursuing personal injury compensation after a car accident isn't always a smooth affair. There are many reasons for this, but the insurance company of the at-fault driver often doesn't help matters. Knowing why insurance companies act the way they do will prepare you on how to deal with them. Here are some of the frustrations you are likely to face, what they mean, and how to counteract them:
Delaying Their Response after Receiving the Demand Letter
It's highly unlikely that you will write a demand letter and get a check in the mail as the first response. Expect some delay, which may or may not be a deliberate act of the insurance company. For one, the adjuster needs time to assess your claim and determine its strength. Secondly, he or she may wish to make you anxious to the point where you give up and accept whichever offer he or she makes.
Although you may be anxious, don't let the adjuster intimidate you. According to TheLawDictionary.com, these companies can actually wait about 45 days before responding. The adjuster will finally respond to your claim, and when he or she does, you counter with a demand and thus begin the negotiation process. If you don't receive a response, you should send a follow-up letter--especially since your claim could be time sensitive.
Making an Insulting Low-ball Offer
Apart from seemingly unnecessary delays, another annoying act from insurance companies is their attempts to make a low-ball offer. The main reason for this is that the company is looking to save money by aiming for the lowest settlement possible. The lower its initial offer is, the higher the chances that the closing figure (the one you are likely to agree on) will also be relatively low. Making a low offer also signals that the insurer doesn't believe that your claim is strong. Whether or not this is the case is a different issue altogether. A lawyer, like The Best and Westover, can tell you whether or not you have a strong case or whether you should accept a low offer.
Making an Unsolicited Settlement Offer
There are also a few cases where insurance companies make unsolicited offers of compensation. An adjuster may approach you soon after an accident, even before you get over your injuries and make you an offer. In fact, the adjuster may even attempt to arm-twist you by claiming that the offer is only valid for a short duration after which it will be withdrawn.
As your parents probably warned you, you should be aware of strangers with gifts. The main reason an adjuster would make such an offer is to catch you off guard and make you accept the offer without taking stock of your injuries and evaluating the value of your claim. Refuse such an offer (even if it looks genuine and sizable) until you can talk with your lawyer.