For those who haven’t dealt with insurance companies too often, filing a car accident claim can seem like an easy process.
After all, you were injured because of another driver’s negligence. Oklahoma follows a “fault” insurance system, meaning that whoever is at fault for your accident is responsible for paying your damages. So you file a claim with this driver’s insurance company, and that’s the end of it, right?
Well, not exactly. In reality, many claims are not such a swift and simple process. Insurance companies are businesses, meaning that their primary goal is to make money. One of the ways they do this is by offering claimants lower settlements, hoping they will accept them without any negotiations.
Below, we discuss what you should do if you believe your claim is being undervalued by the insurance company.
Offers Are Negotiable
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that a settlement is not a “take it or leave it” type of deal. This means that you don’t have to accept the initial offer—in fact, it’s in your best interest not to accept the first offer before speaking with an attorney who can accurately value your claim.
After reviewing the evidence of the case and the specifics of the insurance policy at hand, your attorney may find that the insurance company did not offer you a fair settlement and you may be entitled to additional damages for:
Future medical expenses
Lost earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Long-term or lifelong disabilities
Diminished quality of life
Deciding to Go to Court
Ideally, your attorney would negotiate with the insurance company until they decide to offer you a fair settlement that covers your damages. But sometimes, the insurance adjuster will stall negotiations or just flat out deny your counteroffer.
If this is the case, you want an attorney on your side who is willing to go to court on your behalf rather than accept a less-than-ideal offer. The insurance claims lawyers at Aizenman Law Group are prepared to stand in your corner both in and out of court.
The Dangers of Low Settlements
When the insurance company initially offers you a settlement, you may have doubts about whether it will be enough to cover the entirety of your past, present, and future damages. On the other hand, you don’t want to deal with a legal battle and just want the whole ordeal to be over.
As understandable as this is, you must think of the future when it comes to your award amount. Medical bills can rack up incredibly fast, even for a seemingly “minor” accident or injury.
If your award amount runs out and you still have piles of medical bills, you may be left with out-of-pocket expenses that you simply cannot afford. Once you accept the offer and sign the legal contract, there’s no going back later and fighting for more compensation.
Helping You Obtain Maximum Compensation
If the insurance company is offering you a low settlement offer and refuses to budge, it is possible that they are acting in bad faith. Under Oklahoma law, insurance companies have a legal duty to act in good faith by complying with their contracts and paying valid claims.
If you believe that the insurance company is acting unfairly and offering you a low settlement offer, it’s imperative that you seek legal counsel immediately in order to successfully file a bad faith insurance claim.
At Aizenman Law Group, our team is committed to protecting individuals across Tulsa from deceptive or deceitful practices by the insurance company. We will review your case to fight aggressively on your behalf for maximum compensation.
Contact our Tulsa insurance claim lawyers at (918) 215-8856 to get started on your case today.