It is inevitable that the first settlement offer that you will receive in a motorcycle accident case will be low and not enough to compensate you fully for your injuries. The second and third offers may be low too. The insurance company wants to make it as hard as possible for you to get your money. Their hope is that you will accept less than you deserve.
If you have hired a lawyer (and you should), your attorney will review the settlement offer. They will be able to compare it to the amount that you deserve for each of the individual elements of your damages. They will have a quick understanding of how and where the offer falls short.
At that point, you will have several options. There is nothing that stops you from responding to the offer with a counteroffer of your own. This serves two purposes. The first is to reject the low offer. The second is to give your own position of what you believe you deserve. The insurance company may respond with a new offer, raising the possible settlement. When you receive a new offer, you will begin this process again.
Insurance companies are rational business actors, even if they are notoriously difficult and cheap. It may be in their interests to keep negotiating with you to reach a settlement because they must pay an insurance defense firm if your case goes to court.
Your lawyer may advise you that the insurance company is either not going to come around or needs to be pressured. This is when you would file a lawsuit in court to begin the legal process. It is the jury that decides how much you deserve. The insurance company is just an intermediary.
Even if you have filed a lawsuit, this does not end settlement negotiations. In most cases, it just puts down a marker for when settlement negotiations must end, which is your trial date. Very few personal injury cases go all the way to a jury.
Not all plaintiffs have the same considerations in deciding what to do, nor do all personal injury attorneys have the same approach. Some may be more aggressive than others. In some cases, pragmatism may work. In other cases, you might need an aggressive attorney to make it clear to the insurance company that they cannot take advantage of you.
The Law Office of Steven M Krause PA has experienced counselors and practitioners with a long track record of standing up for clients against powerful insurance companies. Contact us online or call us at (864) 225-4000 to schedule your free initial consultation.
It is always a possibility, but the odds are that it will not. Most cases are settled out of court.
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