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Is My Car Accident Settlement Offer Reasonable?

Written by Jared Staver

Read Jared's Bio

Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Insurance


When you’re involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you typically work with the other driver’s insurance company to settle your claim. Insurance companies are supposed to ensure that your car is repaired or replaced and that your medical bills have been reimbursed. However, you may experience pain and suffering long after your claim has been made. In this case, your car accident settlement offer may not be reasonable for your injuries nor able to fully compensate you for your losses.

For help determining if your car accident settlement offer is reasonable or if you are having insurance issues, reach out to a lawyer for help. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free case consultation.

How an Insurance Adjuster Examines a Claim

The main goal of the insurance adjuster is to try to settle your claim for as little money as possible. Their concern lies not with your injuries or damage to your property, but with keeping as much money in their pocket as possible. To determine your car accident settlement offer, the adjuster will likely request the following documents:

  • Medical bills related to the accident
  • Records of your entire medical history
  • Tax returns
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of damage to your personal property

After reviewing your paperwork, the adjuster may decide to assign values that are different than your documents suggest. For example, if you have several bills from a chiropractor, the adjuster may not consider these documents valid proof of medical treatment, since you did not see a physician. They may decide to pay less than the amount you owe to the chiropractor, or they may disregard these bills entirely.

Questions the Adjuster Considers

Once your documentation has been thoroughly reviewed, the insurance adjuster will calculate a settlement offer. The offer is usually based on the answers to two questions:

  • If you were to go to trial, does it seem likely that you would win?
  • If you did win, what is the potential maximum amount the jury would award?

Although you could have a solid case, if the adjuster believes that a jury would not give you a substantial award, they will offer you a lower settlement. However, with the help of an experienced attorney negotiating on your behalf, the insurance company may be more willing to offer a higher settlement offer.

You Don’t Have to Accept the First Settlement Offer

It is likely that the insurance company will first offer a lowball amount. The insurance company is run like a business, and they will want to pay out as little as possible in a settlement.

Therefore, their first offer may only be a percentage of what you could receive. That is why it is important to reach out to a lawyer for help determining if the first settlement offer is adequate. If it is not, your lawyer can negotiate for more on your behalf.

Talk to a Lawyer

Negotiating your car accident settlement offer with an insurance company can be intimidating. When dealing with an insurance company, you may want to seek the advice of a skilled lawyer.

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies. We will review all the documents you gave the adjuster, go over your injuries at length, and help you come to a figure that should compensate your medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Contact us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free case consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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