One common mistake that motorists make after an auto accident is putting too much trust in insurance companies. If you sustained injuries in a collision, you may think that your claim will cover any related expenses and pain and suffering. Yet, most insurers will offer an initial settlement that fails to match the full value of your claim. There are ways, though, that you can fight to receive the recourse you need.
Negotiating with the insurance company
Louisiana follows fault-based auto insurance laws. Based on these, you will file any claim you make through the policy of the responsible motorist after an accident. If their insurance company rejects your claim or offers you a low initial settlement, you have two ways to negotiate with them. Appealing the insurer’s offer can be an effective way of settling your case out of court. Most insurers have a formal appeals process, and they may be willing to negotiate your settlement through arbitration. You also have the option of making a counteroffer to the insurer’s settlement. This process may go back and forth for a while, though, until you can reach a fair figure.
Taking legal action
Despite your attempts to negotiate a fair settlement, the insurance company may refuse to budge. In this case, you will want to pursue legal action against them. One way of doing so is having your attorney write a demand letter. Your letter will reiterate the facts of the accident and provide further details about its impact, whether personal or financial. And it can also account for any further expenses you incurred after making your claim. This information will aim to compel the insurer to provide you a fair settlement. You also have the option of filing a civil lawsuit against the insurer. Keep in mind, though, that you will only want to consider doing so if the damages you may receive are substantially greater than your legal costs.
Receiving a fair insurance settlement is crucial after you sustained injuries in an auto accident. If your initial offer is inadequate, an attorney can guide you through your options for working toward a better outcome.