Should Injury Victims Negotiate Directly with Insurance Companies?
November 28, 2022 / Personal Injury
A recent case handled by our law firm offers a good reminder how an insurance company’s claims adjuster’s job is to settle, even a clear liability injury case, for as little as possible and NOT for the real value of the injury. This case is a great example of what can happen when an injured victim tries to negotiate directly with a very experienced insurance claims adjuster. In this case, an insurance company initially offered only $1,374 for the injuries our client suffered in a car crash. After she hired Stephenson Rife, we were able to negotiate a $35,000 settlement.
The facts in the case were simple, though tragic. Legal liability, or responsibility, was not in dispute. An elderly man was driving a vehicle and ran a stop sign. His vehicle slammed into our client Carla’s car. The impact was significant with the elderly driver seriously injured and his wife unfortunately killed in the crash. Our client Carla sustained scalp lacerations and severe bruising from her shoulders down through her legs. She also suffered from ongoing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety.
Carla was unable to drive a vehicle for quite some time after the accident. Her job required a great deal of travel, so her husband had to drive her to all work appointments after the crash. She was also a CASA volunteer advocating for children, and these activities were disrupted due to her injuries. In addition, for several months she was unable to attend her children’s sports and dance events after the accident because she could not sit or stand for significant periods of time.
Pekin Insurance provided insurance for the older man driving the car that caused the crash. The insurance claims adjuster for Pekin called Carla and accepted full liability shortly after the crash. The adjuster was very nice and encouraged Carla to work with him to settle the matter quickly for a reasonable offer. After collecting the medical records and bills the adjuster offered to pay the medical expenses and offered Carla only $1,500 more than her medical expenses for her injuries.
Carla questioned if the $1,500 offer was “reasonable” for all that she had been through. Had she not reached out and consulted our attorneys, she might have been tempted to take the money offered. Fortunately, two months after the initial settlement offer was made, Carla contacted Stephenson Rife and asked us to represent her. After gathering all the medical records and attempting to negotiate with the insurance company Stephenson Rife filed suit and was then able to negotiate aggressively on her behalf and were pleased to secure a settlement of $35,000 – more than 20 times the initial offer.
This is a good reminder of the power of a skilled and experienced car accident attorney, and the difference we can make in the lives of clients. Carla’s case was referred to Stephenson Rife by an attorney in Petersburg, IN.
We Welcome Referrals
If you’re an attorney who doesn’t handle car accidents or doesn’t have the manpower to accept additional clients, consider referring the case to Stephenson Rife. We offer an attractive attorney referral program. We always keep referring attorneys informed about a case, from start to finish, throughout the legal process.
How Stephenson Rife Can Help
Stephenson Rife has an outstanding reputation for winning car accident lawsuits and securing the largest payouts possible. Attorney Mike Stephenson has 40 years of legal experience and has won many large Indianapolis personal injury claims totaling millions of dollars.
The legal team also includes Attorney Brady Rife, who takes case preparation seriously and prepares each case as though it may go to trial. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of referring a case to our law firm, feel free to contact us at (317) 680-2501. We welcome your call.