How to Settle a Personal Injury Claim with Insurance in Pennsylvania
When settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company, victims in Pennsylvania should understand what the process entails so that they can get the best result possible.
There are several steps involved in settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company in Pennsylvania. The process begins with a victim filing a claim and sending a demand letter detailing their requested compensation for their damages. An insurance company will then send an initial settlement offer, which will likely be lower than the amount requested by a victim. A counteroffer should follow, allowing victims to provide additional information supporting their need for compensation. If negotiations are not fruitful and an insurance company refuses to settle at an appropriate amount, victims can take legal action and go to court for a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania.
For a confidential and free discussion of your case, call the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates today at (215) 515-2954.
Settling a Personal Injury Claim with Insurance in Pennsylvania
Settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company in Pennsylvania can be a lengthy and involved process. It is important that victims that the steps that are necessary to take throughout the settlement process so that they can be confident in accepting an offer or rejecting one and going to court to recover compensation.
Send a Demand Letter
After our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers help you file a claim with a negligent party’s insurance company, we will submit a demand letter that asserts the compensation you require for your injuries. In this letter, victims should include a detailed summary of the cause of their injuries and the impact those injuries have had on their lives, physically and financially. Depending on the situation, it may be best to wait several weeks after an accident before you send your demand letter to better understand the damages you have incurred.
When drafting your demand letter to an insurance company, our attorneys will calculate your financial damages by adding up-to-date lost wages and medical expenses and including anticipated future economic losses based on your injuries. It is necessary to provide as much proof of your damages as possible so that an insurance company has little room to contest your request for compensation in Pennsylvania.
Evaluate the Initial Settlement Offer
After receiving your demand letter, an insurance company will assess it and send an initial settlement offer. When citing the reasons for its settlement offer, an insurance company might claim that your injuries do not require the compensation you have requested or that you have not provided sufficient proof of your damages. If the limits of a negligent party’s policy are lower than your requested damages, the first settlement offer from their insurance company might be lower than what you would like. Insurance companies might also attempt to claim that a victim partially contributed to their injuries and use that as an excuse to reduce the damages paid to a victim in Pennsylvania.
Typically, initial settlement offers are relatively low, as insurance companies hope injured victims will accept a poor offer out of an immediate need for compensation. It is important to evaluate the first settlement offer you receive carefully and continue with negotiations if it does not sufficiently compensate you for your injuries, even if you have incurred considerable damages in Pennsylvania.
Present a Counteroffer
Often, it will be prudent for victims in Pennsylvania to make a counteroffer to an insurance company’s initial settlement offer. When you do this, you can affirm your initial demand for compensation and provide further proof of your damages. That might include offering up-to-date medical records confirming the severity of your injuries and their impact on your financial stability. After sending your counteroffer, the insurance company might accept it or send another offer that is still lower than what is appropriate.
Negotiations might continue for some time between your counsel and a negligent party’s insurance company until an agreement is reached. Knowing when to continue negotiating with an insurance company and when to move forward with litigation is important, as insurance companies might attempt to lengthen negotiations in the hope that a victim will feel defeated and accept a subpar offer.
Take Legal Action
Settling with an insurance company is not necessary. If victims feel as though they are not being fairly compensated, they can take legal action and go to court. Often, insurance companies want to avoid this as much as possible and might agree to settle at a higher amount if faced with the threat of litigation. It is important to know that you can proceed with legal action at any time before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company. Once you sign a settlement agreement, you will likely be barred from pursuing additional compensation, so it is vital that you only accept an offer that properly compensates you for your injuries.
Regarding personal injury claims, victims have just two years to file a lawsuit in Pennsylvania. If settlement negotiations are not progressing after several months, consider the benefits of going to court. If you wait too long and settlement offers from an insurance company are still inappropriate, you might be unable to sue if two years have passed since your accident.
When victims file a lawsuit instead of settling with an insurance company in Pennsylvania, they might be able to claim greater damages. Suing presents the opportunity to recover non-economic damages, which are typically unavailable in a settlement with an insurance company. Going to court might also allow victims to recover damages for all financial losses, which otherwise could be limited in a settlement with an insurance company in Pennsylvania.
File Your Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claim Today
To have Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates analyze your case for free, call our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers today at (215) 515-2954.