It’s been reported that between 95-96% of all personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom in negotiations between the plaintiff and the at-fault party’s insurance company. But, this means that insurance companies are not willing to settle approximately 4-5% of personal injury cases. Why would an insurance company decide not to settle with the injured party? Here are some of the reasons:
The most common reason that an insurance company will not settle an injury case is insufficient proof. The insurance adjuster will not make an offer without investigating the accident. First, the adjuster needs to find evidence that proves their policyholder is actually to blame for the crash. Insurance adjusters often rely on witness testimony, surveillance footage, police reports, and accident reconstruction experts to determine who is to blame. Then, the adjuster needs to see proof of the victim’s injuries that were sustained in the accident. The victim must send the insurance adjuster detailed medical records that clearly show the extent of the injuries. These records should also include information on how the injuries were treated so the insurance adjuster has a clear picture of what you’ve endured.
If everything checks out, the insurance adjuster can calculate the value of the claim and start settlement negotiations. However, if there is not sufficient proof of liability or the victim’s injuries, the insurance adjuster may refuse to make an offer.
Working with an attorney can help you avoid this problem. An attorney can ensure the insurance adjuster has the evidence they need to identify the liable party and verify your injuries. An attorney can also present the evidence in a clear and convincing manner so the insurance adjuster cannot attempt to deny your claim due to insufficient evidence.
The insurance company may choose not to settle your claim if they find proof of pre-existing injuries. As its name suggests, a pre-existing injury is a condition or injury that was present prior to the accident. If you have a pre-existing back injury, for example, it could be difficult to reach a settlement for a back injury sustained in a car accident. The insurance adjuster may argue that you have back pain as a result of your pre-existing injury, not the accident. It’s important to work with an attorney to show the insurance adjuster that your pre-existing injuries are unrelated to those sustained in the accident.
Many insurance companies will use sneaky tactics to delay a settlement. They may ask for detailed information that they don’t need or take a long time to get back to you with a counteroffer. All of these tactics are used in an attempt to wear you down so you give up and accept a settlement that is far less than the value of your claim. If it works, the insurance company will save money since they won’t have to pay you the amount you deserve. However, if it doesn’t work, the case may end up in court since the insurance company is unwilling to make a fair offer.
Most insurance companies establish specific rules and procedures that must be followed when filing a claim. If you fail to follow one of their rules, it’s possible that you could lose the opportunity to recover compensation. For instance, if the insurance company requires all claims to be filed within 30 days of an accident, they may not settle with you if your claim is filed on the 31st day. For this reason, it is important to file your claim as soon as possible after the accident so you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Lack of Coverage
An insurance company will not settle if the accident was not covered by the at-fault party’s insurance policy. For instance, let’s say you were injured in a car accident on July 1st. If the at-fault party forgot to pay their insurance bill, their policy may have lapsed on the date of the accident. Even if the bill has now been paid, the insurance company is not obligated to compensate you since the at-fault party was not covered on the date of the accident. This means the insurance company will not attempt to reach a settlement with you since they are not at risk of being dragged to trial to resolve your case.
The Plaintiff’s Expectations Are Too High
Sometimes, the insurance company makes an effort to settle a case outside of the courtroom, but the plaintiff does not accept the offer because their expectations are too high. For example, if the plaintiff believes they should receive $100,000 and the insurance company only offers $75,000, the two sides may never reach a settlement.
Plaintiffs should never accept an offer that they believe is unfair, however it’s important to set realistic expectations. If your injuries were minor, it’s not realistic to think that you will receive a six-figure offer. It’s best to ask your attorney to provide a rough estimate of the value of your claim so you know what to expect.
Have you been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to reach a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, our team of personal injury attorneys will take your case to court. We will do whatever it takes to recover the compensation that our clients deserve.