What to Do with the First Offer from the Insurance Company After a Truck Accident

If you’ve ever experienced a traffic accident and had to engage with insurance companies, you are likely already familiar with the stress and confusion that can arise when trying to consider the settlement offers you receive from insurers. Though suffering injuries in an accident is often a traumatic and overwhelming experience, remember to remain focused and be aware of the tactics insurance companies sometimes use to tilt the advantage of the situation in their favor. Having a strong and experienced attorney on your side goes a long way toward protecting your rights and creating a strategy that gives you a better chance of reaching your desired outcome.

Among the different types of traffic accidents, truck accidents, in particular, often cause significant (and sometimes life-altering) injuries. When an accident involving a large commercial truck leaves someone severely injured, a successful truck accident claim can be the only thing that can provide financial relief from mounting medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other expenses. Part of the process of obtaining such relief is dealing with insurance companies. While insurance providers are helpful and professional in many instances, resolving the situation with as low of a settlement payout as possible is always the priority, so accepting an insurance company’s initial offer is never the best option.

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury in a truck accident, you deserve to have as much financial compensation as you can get. By working with an experienced truck accident lawyer, you can protect your rights and prioritize your best interests. Letting a knowledgeable attorney handle all communication and negotiation with the insurance company is always the wisest path. As your legal advocate, your lawyer will fight to ensure you don’t get shortchanged with a lowball settlement offer. Read more below to discover how an attorney experienced in handling truck accident claims can assist in achieving the desired outcome. Contact a lawyer today to schedule a consultation.

Overview of Truck Accident Claims

Broken-down truck parked on the side of the street due to mechanical failure.

As with other types of traffic accidents, Insurance policies cover damages in the event of a truck crash. The insurance company’s job is to simultaneously support their policyholder following an accident, look out for their interests, and resolve the claim with as little payout as possible.

When you are on the other side of a truck accident (the injury victim side), it’s important to have a basic understanding of truck accident claims, the types of insurance policies the trucking companies typically have, and what to expect when the insurance provider comes to you with an initial settlement offer seeking to resolve the claim quickly.

The most important aspect of this process is having an experienced truck accident attorney well-versed in insurance policies and the tactics used by insurance companies to seek quick and inexpensive settlements. After experiencing a truck accident and before initiating any contact with the insurance company, your best option is to reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer to get the guidance you need.

The Initial Offer: Understanding the Basics

Once you have submitted your truck accident claim and hired your attorney, you must know what to expect when the insurance company makes an initial offer. The insurance provider’s first offer will give a baseline of the compensation they are willing to give you to settle the claim. Scrutinizing this initial offer with your lawyer is critical, as it can set the stage for the subsequent negotiation. Though this initial offer may seem like a step toward a quick resolution, you should be wary about the amount the insurance company offers and the reasons behind their offer.

Taking the time to consider the offer with the insights your lawyer provides will enable you to make more informed decisions and discern any potential attempt by the insurance provider to undervalue your claim for a swift resolution. You need to remember that accepting any offer effectively ends the claim process. After you accept an offer, that is the settlement, and you won’t get anything else. This emphasizes the need for caution and careful consideration of any offer — particularly the first one.

Why First Offers Tend to Be Lower

The initial offer from the insurance company will likely be significantly lower than you may expect or want. There are multiple reasons why this first offer will be far less than anticipated. Common reasons why the insurance company’s offer will be low include:

  • Quick Settlement Tactics — As previously mentioned, insurance companies aim to promptly resolve claims and minimize their financial exposure. The desire to efficiently manage resources and avoid increased costs propels this inclination.
  • Minimizing Liability — The insurer, aiming to minimize their policyholder’s liability, employs various strategies. This involves scrutinizing the accident circumstances, assessing damages, and potentially downplaying factors contributing to liability. Recognizing these tactics underscores the importance of having a skilled attorney. 
  • Limited Information — Low initial offers may also simply result from the insurance company not having enough information or evidence to support making a larger offer. Further investigation and presenting evidence during negotiation may lead to the insurer understanding the need to increase subsequent offers.

Your lawyer should be well-versed in these intricacies regarding the insurance company’s initial offer and can advise you accordingly. Your attorney comprehends the caution surrounding the first offer and why accepting it should be avoided. Collaborating closely with your lawyer will assist in avoiding common mistakes made by individuals who forgo legal representation and attempt to handle these negotiations themselves, thereby minimizing the risk of accepting an offer far lower than they might have obtained.

Navigating any type of legal matter is full of challenges that are often far too complicated for anyone but a highly trained professional to understand. An experienced lawyer working on your behalf is critical to any truck accident claim. Though the insurance company and others who represent the other party involved in the accident may be polite and professional, only your attorney will be working with the goal of ensuring the protection of your rights and best interests as you move forward to seek the level of financial compensation that is suitable for the harm you have suffered.

Why You Should Never Accept an Initial Offer

Just as there are various reasons why an insurance company makes a lowball initial offer, there are several reasons why you should never accept such an offer. Though dealing with the aftereffects of the truck accident, including physical injuries and property damage, you must resist the temptation to jump on the first offer the insurance provider gives you. Potential consequences of accepting a lowball first offer include:

  • Inadequate Compensation for Ongoing Medical Expenses — The insurance company’s initial offer may cover your immediate expenses. Still, if your injuries are long-term (or permanent) and require ongoing treatment, you may eventually be left facing significant out-of-pocket costs. Remember, once you settle, you can’t go back and ask for more later.
  • Uncompensated Pain & Suffering — Unlike medical costs and lost income, pain and suffering that result from a truck accident can be difficult to quantify. Insurance companies may try to downplay the significance of such pain and suffering, but that doesn’t make it any less real. Accepting a low first offer can leave you without proper compensation for the mental and emotional toll the accident has taken on you.
  • Settlements Are Final — As previously mentioned, once you officially accept a settlement offer, you will receive the final amount of compensation. In many cases, accepting a settlement offer involves waiving future rights to take legal action regarding the accident, meaning you will lose any opportunity to seek further remedy for the harm you suffered. This underscores the need to be patient and cautious when an insurance company makes its first offer because if you accept it, you won’t ever have the chance to get more.

Instead of hastily accepting a low initial offer, adopting a more deliberate and thoughtful approach to the settlement process is advisable. By carefully considering all aspects, consulting with a seasoned attorney, and thoroughly evaluating the potential implications, you can make informed decisions that align with your best interests and ensure a fair resolution to your case.

How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help in Negotiations

A male lawyer shaking hands with a client in an office, with the scales of justice in focus.

Your lawyer will have the experience necessary to guide you through the negotiation process and will be familiar with collecting the relevant evidence and documentation to support your claim and strengthen your argument that you deserve more compensation. Your lawyer will take the lead in all aspects of the process, including:

  • Gathering Evidence — Interviewing witnesses, collecting documentation, and using other means of collection are things your attorney will use to support your claim.
  • Presenting a Strong Case — Your lawyer will be far more comfortable and capable of presenting your case than you will be on your own. Trust in your lawyer’s knowledge.
  • Communicating with the Insurance Company — Insurance providers are highly trained and can persuade (or even manipulate) people. Your lawyer can counteract this.

The negotiation process may not happen quickly or easily, which further emphasizes the benefit of having someone on your side who is committed to fighting for your best interests. By enlisting the support of a skilled attorney, you gain a steadfast advocate and someone with the experience to navigate the intricate dynamics of negotiations.

The Role of an Attorney in Complex Cases

In addition to helping with guidance, communication, and negotiation, an experienced truck accident lawyer can take things a step further and initiate a lawsuit if the negotiation process proves unfruitful. Knowing you have a knowledgeable professional in your corner can give you the peace of mind you need to move forward if the need for litigation arises.

Once you have legal representation, you have someone to protect your interests, answer questions, and address concerns. This alone can relieve stress so you can better focus on your physical recovery and medical treatment.

Contact a Knowledgeable Truck Accident Lawyer for Help

Personal Injury Lawyer
Truck Accident Lawyer, Matthew H. Bligh

At this point, it should be clear that accepting the initial offer made by an insurance company following your truck accident is strongly discouraged. With the injuries you have suffered, taking a lowball offer can leave you with significantly less money than you deserve and put you at risk of struggling to cover the expenses brought on by the damages from the accident. Considering the pain you’ve experienced, you owe it to yourself and your family to put yourself in the best position to reach the desired outcome. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney ensures that your claim is backed by substantial evidence, positioning you on the path most likely to succeed.

Insurance companies may be willing to provide assistance to a certain extent, but their priority will always be to look out for their bottom line and pay out as little as possible to injured parties. By accepting the insurance company’s initial offer, you play right into their hands and give them exactly what they want. Instead, you need a strong negotiator who will advocate for you and your rights. Letting your lawyer take care of communicating and negotiating with the insurance company will take a heavy load off your shoulders and give you confidence that your attorney is looking out for your best interests. At the same time, you focus on your physical recovery.

Suppose you or someone you love has suffered an injury in a truck accident. In that case, you have the right to pursue every avenue available to seek the financial compensation you need to cover your expenses. Knowing what to expect from the insurance company, why they offer what they do, the potential pitfalls to avoid in the settlement process, and other important information will give you an advantage as you and your legal representative navigate the situation. Before you get into any discussions with the insurance provider after your truck accident, you must retain the services of an experienced lawyer. Don’t put yourself at risk of receiving less than what you deserve. Obtain the assistance you need by contacting a truck accident attorney today to schedule a consultation.

Filed Under: Truck Accidents

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