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How can I tell if a settlement offer is fair?

Auto accidents can rend the fabric of victims' lives, causing injuries, job losses, economic instability and sometimes even death. With all of those hardships to cope with, it's particularly distressing when insurance companies balk at offering fair settlements to their claimants.

Anyone who has ever watched a commercial for a major insurance company has seen dramatic scenarios where the insurance agent arrives on scene like a white knight to save the day. That might make for good television, but is not rooted in reality.

Accident victims need to understand that even if they have faithfully paid all of their premiums on time, the insurance agent is not working for your best interests. He or she is part of a corporate behemoth that swells its profit margins by finding innovative ways to low-ball claims or deny them outright.

Below are some things to keep in mind when dealing with an insurance company after an accident.

-- The initial settlement offer is always far too low. They dangle this low-hanging fruit, hoping that desperate claimants will reach out and grab it. But don't let your vulnerability force you to settle for far less than the true worth of your claim.

-- Expect to engage in multiple episodes of phone tag while attempting to settle your claim. Remember, the clock begins ticking on the viability of your claim at the moment of impact. If they can stall you and delay the process long enough, your claim could proscribe and you will be out of luck.

-- Denial of all, or significant portions of, claims is a common strategy. They will insist that your injuries stemmed not from the accident but from pre-existing conditions. They will access decades-old medical records you forgot existed in attempts to justify their refusal to pay out your claim.

The best approach is to turn your case over to a reputable Kentucky personal injury attorney. This allows you to focus on healing and provides an opportunity for you to receive the full value of your claim through a negotiated settlement.

Source: Disabled World, "Tricks Insurance Companies Use Against Car Accident Victims," accessed June 23, 2017

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  • Kentucky Justice Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association 1871 Lex Ordo Justicia
  • United States District Court Western District Of Kentucky
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