What you’ll learn reading this article:
- You have a statute of limitations when it comes to your personal injury claim, meaning that if you don’t settle your accident claim quickly enough, you could lose your claim.
- Insurance companies are often in no hurry to shell out the money to settle your claim—for them, it is lose, lose.
- Attorneys can help get your case settled more quickly and for more money than representing yourself to an insurance company.
After a car accident, especially one resulting in personal injuries, you will want to contact your insurance company right away to report it.
Oftentimes, the insurance adjuster will be very interested in getting as many details as they can from you and even may ask you to provide a statement on record (which legally you are not required to make, although some companies require them in their policy fine print).
Maybe you really liked your insurance adjuster, felt at ease and gave them all of the information they wanted. (Hint: Don’t give them more than they ask for!) If there was property damage, such as damage to your vehicle, maybe they got you squared away quickly. Maybe they seemed truly sympathetic about your injury.
But sometimes, even after appearing to be on top of your case and on your side, an insurance company seemingly might disappear for several weeks—or even months—after your initial contact. Shouldn’t they be making you a settlement offer? Why aren’t they making you an initial offer?
As it turns out, there may be a few reasons behind their radio silence.
1. They’re in no rush to move forward.
Insurance companies lose money whenever they fulfill a claim. This means, unfortunately, that they lack a lot of incentive to see your insurance settlement through in a speedy manner.
You, however, have the statute of limitations to deal with when it comes to your personal injury case. If you didn’t get the case settled within the set time, you would have to file a lawsuit in order to preserve your claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies know this and may take advantage of it.
2. You lack leverage.
Insurance companies are notorious for flexing their muscles. Essentially, they know that they hold power over you, the insured. Without an attorney representing you, you are likely to face roadblocks in settlement negotiations and be unable to be taken as seriously.
In fact, statistics show that filing a personal injury claim without a lawyer can result in up to three times less compensation than you would receive when hiring an attorney to represent you. The bottom line is personal injury lawyers have the bargaining chip of a lawsuit and as such are able often to settle cases quicker and for more money than you would be able to alone.
3. They’re waiting on you.
Because you are the one with something to lose, it’s truly incumbent upon you to push the case forward. As soon as you have finished your treatments (or have begun what will be extensive treatments), if you still have not heard from them, you should gather medical documents and bills and send a demand letter.
You also should send a monetary amount that you consider to be fair compensation. This will allow them to counter-offer and respond. If you still aren’t getting a response, it may be time to talk to an attorney about moving your case forward in a more timely and professional manner.
After an accident, sometimes the last thing you want is one more thing to worry about—one more phone call to make, one more letter to write. If your insurance company is giving you the run-around or making you a lowball offer, hiring an attorney to handle those details for you can help expedite the process and get you the compensation you rightly deserve.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery—Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We offer a free consultation to review your case and will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses.
Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%*, and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate—one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call (800) 265-9881 for a free case review.
Hi, my name is Rich Bucheri from Poynter & Bucheri, and today I want to talk about why is the insurance company not making you an offer? So at the beginning of a case, you probably were contacted, or you may have been contacted, by an insurance adjuster that seemed like they were your best friend, that they really wanted to know all about your injuries. They may have had you sign an authorization so that they could get your medical records. Maybe they took care of your personal property issues fairly quickly. But since then, you haven’t heard from them in maybe several months and you’re wondering, why haven’t they made you an offer?
Well, what you need to understand is that, first of all, they have no incentive to move the case forward. They don’t make money by paying out insurance claims. So you need to keep that in mind. The incentive is for you to move the case forward because you’re dealing with a timeline called the statute of limitations. If you don’t get the case settled by a certain period of time, then you have to file a lawsuit to preserve your claim. If not, then your claim could be lost forever.
The other problem that you might have is one of bargaining power, you not having any leverage. The leverage that an attorney would have when dealing with an insurance company is that if they don’t settle with you or they don’t bargain with you in good faith, then you can file a lawsuit against them. And when you do that, then the case is going to either have to be referred to their in-house counsel or worse yet for them, they’ll have to hire an attorney to defend the case. And so they may have incentive based on that to try to get the case done pre-litigation. But if you’re not an attorney and you don’t have any experience with bringing a lawsuit, then you may not have the leverage that an attorney would have.
Finally, it’s so incumbent upon you to make the first move. You need to move the case forward. You need to make the initial demand. So once you’re done treating, you need to gather all your medical bills, and then you could write a demand letter. But at the very least, you need to throw out the first number of what you think is fair compensation and give them something to respond to. And then if they don’t respond to it, then maybe you do need to consult with an attorney.