Why You Are Receiving A Small Settlement Offer

Insurance claims, and in particular personal injury claims, are resolved by settlement.  The injured party (or their attorney) submits a demand package.  In return, the insurance company will likely present in response a settlement offer.  However, insurance companies quite frequently extend settlement offers that are less than reasonable.  What can be done in response?  First, let us explore why settlement offers are low to begin with.

The Basis for a Low Settlement Offer

There are many different reasons as to why the offer is low.  For example, if it is a car accident claim in Massachusetts, and the injuries are relatively minor, then the offer will be low.  Or, if the injuries are serious, but the liability is challenging, then that may lead to a small offer.  For example, if you slip and fall in Massachusetts, and injure yourself, the offer may be low because the insurance adjuster may believe that liability, or fault against their insured has not been established.  Or, even if the injuries are serious and the liability is strong, you may still receive a low settlement offer in that case.

What Can Be Done In Response

If all negotiations have been exhausted and the offer is still unreasonably low, you have a decision to make.  You can either accept the offer, or you can file a lawsuit.  If the offer is unreasonably and excessively low, that may give rise to a bad faith claim under MGL c.93A/MGLc176D.

If you accept the offer and don’t wish to file a lawsuit, then you will sign a release ending the case.  A few weeks later, you will receive your settlement check and the case will be over.  Or, if you don’t want to accept the offer, a lawsuit can be filed.  At this point, if you are handling the case by yourself, I would suggest not filing the lawsuit on your own.  The legal process is a complex and confusing one, and you are best served by having a Boston personal injury lawyer representing you.