Insurance Claims

Dealing with the Car Insurance Company

Get the information you need when negotiating a settlement with an insurance company.

You don’t have to go to court to get compensated for your injuries in a car accident. When it comes to getting the settlement you deserve, dealing with the insurance company is usually the first step.

  • What can you expect during the insurance claims process?
  • How can you ensure a fair settlement?
  • What if you’re not satisfied with the offers from the insurer?

These are all important questions that Kaplan Young, a Las Vegas personal injury firm, can guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim and help you maximize your recovery.

Negotiating a Settlement With the Insurance Company

Here’s what you should know when you choose to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Step 1: Gather Information for Your Claim

The initial step is collecting information about the accident. It’s crucial to obtain the at-fault driver’s insurance details, which can be acquired from the other driver or the accident report.

Additionally, gather routine information about the accident, including:

  • Location
  • Time
  • Date
  • Parties involved
  • Injuries sustained

Once you have all the necessary information, you can prepare to file your personal injury claim.

Step 2: File Your Personal Injury Claim

It’s essential to contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company promptly after the accident. Many companies impose time limits to report accidents, some as short as 24 hours.

Filing a claim notifies the insurance company that you were injured by one of their insured drivers and intend to seek compensation. Most companies allow you to submit your claim online, while others accept claims by phone or mail. Ensure you include details about property damage and all personal injuries in your claim.

After filing your claim, you’ll await a response from the insurance company. Typically, you’ll interact with an insurance claims adjuster. The adjuster will send you a Reservation of Rights (ROR) letter acknowledging receipt of your claim and explaining that liability is not accepted at that time.

Step 3: Outline Your Damages and Demand Compensation

After receiving the ROR letter, you can submit a demand letter. The timing of this letter depends on your recovery progress. Waiting until you’ve fully recovered or made significant strides helps accurately identify costs and losses.

Your demand letter should explain the incident, provide evidence supporting your claim, and request appropriate compensation. Be detailed and thorough regarding the extent of your injuries and the costs you’ve incurred.

Itemize costs related to medical care, rehabilitation, nursing care, disability, lost wages, and property damage. Adding these costs together determines your “economic” or “special” damages.

Once economic damages are calculated, assess your “general” or “non-economic” damages. These compensate for pain, suffering, and emotional trauma.

Step 4: Review the Insurance Company’s Initial Settlement Offer

Upon receiving your demand letter, the insurance company must respond. However, they may not do so immediately, using the excuse of ongoing investigations. In reality, they may be testing your patience and hoping you’ll accept a low offer.

Remember, insurance companies prioritize profit and often try to minimize payouts. They’ll likely offer much less than what you deserve and present justifications like:

  • Your injury doesn’t warrant the amount you’re seeking.
  • Insufficient evidence of your costs.
  • Overestimation of disability or lost wages.
  • Requesting an amount exceeding policy limits.

The insurance company’s initial offer may be insulting and unlikely to cover all your accident-related expenses. However, don’t feel pressured to accept it. Insurance adjusters may use manipulative tactics to make you accept a lowball offer, like creating a sense of urgency or implying partial blame.

Accepting the first offer is risky as it requires signing a waiver that prevents pursuing additional compensation. You’ll be limited to the amount offered by the insurance company.

Step 5: Make a Counteroffer

You have the right to reject the initial settlement offer and propose a counteroffer. You can either stick to your initial demand or find a middle ground. Showing willingness to negotiate can work in your favor.

Emphasize the extent of your injuries and the suffering caused by the at-fault driver. Make it clear that you are serious about receiving fair compensation for your damages.

Step 6: Hire a Personal Injury Attorney and Consider Legal Action

The insurance company will respond to your counteroffer. While they may agree to your offer, it’s more likely they’ll reject it or make a counteroffer of their own.

They might be willing to negotiate to some extent, but eventually, they’ll provide a final offer. Assess whether the new offer covers all costs and expenses. If it does, accepting it after negotiation may be reasonable. However, never accept a low offer just for the sake of settling. You can always hire a personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit.

When you’re dissatisfied with the insurance company’s offer, you can take legal action. Hiring a personal injury attorney and threatening to sue can pressure the insurance company into a fair settlement. Even if they don’t, having a skilled advocate increases your chances of maximizing your financial recovery.

Need More Assistance?

If you’ve been injured in a Las Vegas accident and another driver is at fault, you have the right to seek compensation from their insurance company. Successfully navigating an insurance claim requires strength, patience, and motivation. Consulting an experienced Las Vegas personal injury law firm, such as Kaplan Young, can greatly support your claim. If you have any questions about recovering compensation after an accident, don’t hesitate to contact Kaplan Young for help.

Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation.