You have probably already gone through the initial steps. Submitting your claim, providing pictures of the scene and maybe even talking to your insurance adjuster. But when things seem to slow down or come to a complete stop, is when it comes to your insurance company providing an offer of compensation. There are a few things to clear up on this topic. What you receive from your insurance company is an offer. Many drivers believe that it’s a take it or leave it situation. That’s not true, if you have received your insurance company’s offer and rejected it, you will need legal help. After seeking legal help, you will issue a settlement demand. That demand will go to your insurance provider, and then they will provide a new offer of compensation. These steps can significantly impact how long you’re waiting for compensation.
An Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney Explains the First Offer
In general, you should only have to wait 20-30 days for the initial offer of compensation. That’s an important time frame. Given this range, you may not have completed all of your necessary medical treatment and may still be missing work.
Insurance companies will often keep their offers within this range even if you are not ready for settlement. They hope that you’ll take the offer, which is often far too low, to receive money sooner.
This tactic is one of the reasons why insurance adjusters will encourage people to work without an Atlanta auto accident attorney. They want you to accept the money out of time necessity rather than based on what is fair compensation.
Additional Offers of Compensation
After the initial offer of compensation, you may receive additional offers. To receive additional offers, you must reject that first offer. A lawyer can help you determine if their first offer is fair or not. Many times, the first offer will cover medical costs and lost wages but exclude other aspects of compensation, such as lost wages and suffering.
When working with an attorney, you will likely submit a demand for settlement with a clear goal for compensation. It is unlikely that your car insurance company will immediately provide that amount for compensation.
But because the investigation is complete, you won’t have to wait very long for your next offer of compensation. Often insurance companies will deliver an offer in response to a settlement demand between three days and three weeks. The time difference will depend on the reasons behind your compensation requests and if it includes non-economic damages.
If you and your attorney agree to reject this offer as well, you will move forward with litigation. Even after opening a lawsuit against the insurance company, it is not likely that your case will go to trial.
Settlement Before Trial
Not to play chicken with insurance companies, but after you begin a lawsuit, they have one more chance to make a reasonable compensation offer. This compensation offer will likely be higher than the previous two, but there is no guarantee that they will offer a settlement at all.
Some insurance companies have a strict standing policy that they will not offer a settlement to claimants, who opened a case against them. Speak with your attorney before pursuing litigations. Legal action can sometimes lead to more costs than it’s worth.
For example, if the second settlement offer was only a few thousand dollars less than your compensation goal, your attorney may advise you to take it. Even though you are thousands away from fair compensation, taking your case to trial may result in a lower compensation payout and come with higher legal fees as well as additional court fees.
Finding a Car Wreck Attorney in Atlanta
Not only should you weigh the extent of damages in your case, but how likely your insurance company is to help you. It’s important that you keep the focus of the claim on your damages and your suffering. This is why many people turn to legal help. They often feel that the insurance company is trying to short them out of fair compensation.
Get help from an auto accident attorney in Atlanta. When looking for someone to guide you through the claim, settlement, and possibly trial, process you want an experienced and compassionate lawyer. The Weinstein Firm takes pride in helping the injured victims of auto accidents. We’ve spent years helping people fight for both fair and full compensation to cover their economic and non-economic losses.