How to Appeal Your Accident Settlement Offer in Missouri - The Law Offices of Kevin Roach, LLC. | The Law Offices of Kevin Roach, LLC.
Accident Settlement Offer in Missouri

How to Appeal Your Accident Settlement Offer in Missouri

After a car accident, you eagerly await the arrival of your settlement offer. But when it comes, you’re disappointed that it’s much lower than you expected. You can’t pay all of your doctor’s bills with it, to say little of covering lost wages.

The good news is that you don’t have to accept the first offer. Below, a Missouri car accident lawyer explains the steps of appealing a settlement offer:

  • Determining the value of your claim
  • Adjusting your demand
  • Making a counteroffer

Understand How the Adjuster Arrived at Your Offer

Insurance adjusters don’t simply throw out arbitrary numbers when making a settlement offer. Instead, they base the offer on economic and non-economic damages and your degree of fault.

Economic damages are fairly straightforward. They include easily calculable costs like lost wages, medical bills, and vehicle damage. If insurance refuses to pay for your economic damages in full, it might be because the adjuster thinks you’re partially at fault for the accident.

Most insurance adjusters will reject your initial demand for non-economic damages. These damages, such as mental anguish and pain and suffering, don’t have an inherent dollar value, making it harder to know what they’re worth.

The adjuster will probably say that you’re asking for too much money. Often, they’ll object to the multiplier used to calculate your damages. Your Missouri car accident lawyer must prove why they used the correct multiplier.

Determine How Much Your Claim Is Worth

You must understand the true value of your claim before making a counteroffer. If you guess its value, the adjuster will likely reject your demand.

First, you must calculate your economic damages. Gather all of your medical bills and add them up. To calculate lost wages, multiply your average paycheck by the weeks you’ve been out of work. For property damage to your car, provide your mechanic’s estimate for how much it would cost to repair the vehicle.

Non-economic damages are tougher to calculate. You’ll need to multiply your economic damages by a multiplier that usually ranges from one to five. The more severe your injuries, the longer you will need to recover, and the higher the multiplier you can use.

Adjust Your Demand Upward or Downward

If you realize after calculating your damages that you didn’t ask for enough, you can adjust your demand upward. For instance, if your doctor thinks you’ll never fully recover, you could ask for a bigger settlement to compensate you for permanent disability.

You might also have to adjust your demand downward. This move is typically necessary if you’re partially at fault for the accident.

Make a Counteroffer

Now, it’s time to make a counteroffer. To do this, you’ll need to write a polite letter to the insurance adjuster. Writing such a letter without the aid of a Missouri car accident lawyer can be tough. Try to keep emotion out of it and stick to the facts.

In the letter, detail why you’re asking for the amount in your demand. Attach any proof you have that can substantiate your claims. At this point in the appeal process, the adjuster will accept your demand or send another counteroffer.

Is Your Accident Settlement Offer Too Low? Call Us

If the insurance adjuster is lowballing you, contact a Missouri car accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC. We can guide you through your legal appeal, prepare a counteroffer, and represent you in court should negotiations fail.

For a free consultation with a Missouri car accident lawyer, call (636) 238-5848.