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Don’t Be Too Eager to Quickly Settle Your Case

Written by Jared Staver

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

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Personal Injury


When you’ve been in an accident, you may think it’s best to call your insurance company and have them take care of everything for you. But a settlement offer from an insurance company is meant to save the company as much money as possible, rather than fully cover your injuries, property damage, and mental anguish.

When it comes to personal injury settlements, it’s necessary to have an experienced personal injury attorney who can negotiate on your behalf. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free initial consultation.

How a Claim Is Evaluated

It is important to be aware of how a claim is assessed. When reviewing your claim, an insurance adjuster may:

  • Request past medical records. When you suffer an injury in the accident, an adjuster may ask to see records of your medical history. If the injury you’re claiming appears to be one that occurred before the accident or if any evidence suggests you’re not as hurt as you claim to be, the adjuster may not offer as much in the settlement.
  • Review all your medical bills. The adjuster will need to see all your medical bills, but they may not feel they have to pay all of them. For example, if you have bills from healthcare professionals who are not medical doctors, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist, the adjuster may argue that these are not “medical” bills and they will not be covered.
  • Ask for other paperwork. On top of medical history or hospital bills, an adjuster might want to see proof of damage to your property. They may even ask for your paystubs and tax returns and interview you to determine whether you hold some responsibility for the accident. Adjusters analyze each detail when concluding what the insurance company should offer for a settlement.

You Don’t Have To Accept the First Offer

Once they have all their information, insurance adjusters formulate a settlement offer for you. It’s important to remember that these adjusters work for the insurance company, not you, so the offer they give you will be the lowest their employer can pay. They will also try to get you to sign a release form which keeps you from asking for anything else in the future.

You should also consider special and general damages. You may be able to provide concrete proof for your special damages like doctor bills or prescription costs. But, you might not be able to put a price on general damages, which can be more abstract like pain and suffering. Even if it’s difficult to figure out general damages, you shouldn’t ignore them. An accident that leaves you with long-term injuries can diminish the quality of your life. Your mental health is as important as your physical health, and if your settlement offer is not enough to cover all the damage you suffered in an accident, it’s time to negotiate.

Negotiating a Claim

Rejecting the first offer doesn’t mean you will get nothing. Instead, it opens up the conversation for you to request a more reasonable and fair offer.

You can reject the settlement and request a different amount via a demand letter. In the letter, you should outline the reasons why the offer is not enough by explaining the extent of your injury, what medications you’ve taken, and whether you’ve needed surgery. Reiterate how long you’ve been out of work, how painful or debilitating your injuries are, and how long your recovery process may be.

How a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Dealing with insurance settlements can be difficult and intimidating. You should hire a personal injury attorney to negotiate on your behalf. Research has suggested that people may get larger settlements if they hire an attorney rather than working with the insurance company by themselves.

Our attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. have worked with many clients to get the best settlement from the insurance company. We can help you review your claim and pursue a fair compensation to help you recover as much as possible. Call us at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.

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