NEGOTIATING A CLAIM WITH PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE
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Auto insurance is required by every state and is a way to protect you from financial costs in the event of an accident. Progressive Insurance is a popular company that is prevalent online and in television commercials.
Dealing with a car accident is stressful enough, and having to deal with insurance companies like Progressive to pay claims quickly may add to that stress.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and needs to negotiate a claim with Progressive Insurance, call our car insurance lawyers of Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation.
How to Negotiate with Progressive Insurance
Insurance companies like Progressive may fail to pay you in a timely fashion after a claim is filed. After a car accident, dealing with insurance to settle your claim may add to your stress while you are trying to recover. There are certain tactics that Progressive and other insurance companies may use to avoid paying you. There are also ways to negotiate with insurance companies to help increase the chances of a payout.
Insurance companies are ideally supposed to help pay for damages following an accident. However, getting them to pay can sometimes be difficult. It is the job of claims adjusters, who work for insurance companies, to pay out as little as possible for damages. It is in an insurance company’s best interest to pay you as little as possible.
Do Not Accept the First Offer
The first settlement offer you receive will often be much lower than what you might deserve. Before you accept the first offer, you should know that you can negotiate the amount. Never accept the first offer.
The first step will be to understand how much your car is worth. One of the jobs a claims adjuster has is to determine the cost to perform repairs on your car. Knowing how much your car is worth can help assist you in your negotiation.
Determine Your Minimum Settlement Amount
After you know the value of your car, determine what the absolute minimum is that you would be willing to accept for damages and repairs. Do not reveal this number to the claims adjuster, but keep it in mind as you negotiate. If the first offer comes close to your minimum, consider increasing it.
Consider Other Costs
There are sometimes more damages that occur during a car accident than just damage to your car. You may have pain and suffering that resulted from injuries sustained during the accident. You may have medical costs related to getting treated for injuries. If your injuries are severe, you may not be able to work and may lose income.
Consider these factors when coming up with a minimum settlement amount. Consider future expenses such as long-term medical care or lasting disabilities. The settlement amount should cover all expenses that resulted from the car accident.
Insurance Company Tactics
Progressive as well as other insurance agencies utilize a number of strategic tactics to avoid paying you what you deserve. Progressive may even deny your claim altogether. Once you understand that the objective is to pay you as little as possible, you can look out for other tactics used to reduce your claim.
Insurance companies know that you may be under a lot of stress after a car accident and will use this vulnerable time to their advantage. It is important to understand that Progressive is not on your side when it comes to a personal injury claim. Their goals are opposite to yours, which is why hiring an experienced lawyer will benefit you. A personal injury lawyer is on your side and has your best interests in mind.
Attempting to Make a Quick Settlement
Progressive may attempt to make a quick settlement following a car accident. They may send a claims adjuster to your home or even to the hospital. They do this in the hopes that you will feel pressured to accept the settlement right away before considering your options. Insurance companies do this so that you do not have time to fully assess your damages and the full extent of your injuries. If you accept a settlement too quickly and realize you have other costs later, there will be nothing you can do.
Creating an Arbitrary Deadline
Sometimes a claims adjuster will give you an arbitrary deadline and tell you that you must accept by that date. There are no deadlines to accept a settlement offer. You should not begin to consider accepting an offer until after you have sought medical treatment and understand the extent of your injuries. This is a tactic to get you to agree to a lower offer.
Falsely Claiming You Do Not Need a Lawyer
The insurance claims adjuster may try to convince you that you do not need a lawyer and that your case is straightforward. Do not allow them to convince you. An insurance claims adjuster is not on your side and will not have your best interests in mind like a lawyer will.
Attempting to Diminish Severity of Injuries
Progressive may try to blame your injuries on a pre-existing condition or a previous injury. They may ask you to sign a medical release waiver that will reveal your medical history. Do not sign a medical release waiver without speaking to an attorney first. You are under no obligation to release your medical history to an insurance company.
Insurance claims adjusters will also attempt to dispute the severity of your injuries. They may diminish your injuries and falsely try to convince you that your injuries are not as severe as they might be.
Delaying Your Claim
While insurance companies may pressure you to accept an offer within a deadline, they likely will not make haste when trying to negotiate with you. Delaying your claim may make you agree to a lower settlement offer because you need immediate payment. This may also be a tactic used to push a claim past the statute of limitations so you cannot file a lawsuit against them.
Attempting to Deflect Liability
Insurance companies may try to deny liability or claim that they are not responsible to pay out any damages. They may claim that another party is responsible, such as a third party, and try to avoid paying you.
Make Sure to Avoid These Mistakes:
Giving Progressive a Recorded Statement
Progressive may ask for a recorded statement that involves you describing what happened. They may attempt to get you to say something that releases them from liability. Do not admit fault. Do not make guesses or speculations as to what happened.
Progressive may tell you that you must provide a recorded statement to receive a settlement, but this is not true. Insurance claims adjusters are trained to be able to ask questions that get you to say something that will negatively impact your claim. It is not unusual for them to try to make your statement sound like it is against your interest.
For example, they may ask you how you are feeling. If you answer that you are feeling “fine” or “okay,” then they might use this later to claim that you were not in pain or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Do Not Let Progressive Reduce Your Medical Expenses
Progressive may ask you to submit your medical bills after a car accident. Progressive may then attempt to dispute the amount of your medical bills and devalue your claim. Do not allow Progressive to reduce your current and future medical expenses. Many insurance claims adjusters will avoid factoring in future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Many people may put off hiring an experienced attorney to help settle their insurance claims and will attempt to negotiate on their own. Hiring an attorney will most likely result in a larger payout since personal injury attorneys know how to negotiate.
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee. That means that there is no cost to you when hiring an attorney to help you settle your claims. The attorney will get paid a portion of the settlement only if you win your case. An attorney may advocate for you and seek the best possible outcome.
Zinda Law Group May Help YOU NEGOTIATE A CLAIM WITH PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced personal injury lawyers have handled many cases involving car accident victims and have negotiated with insurance companies. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help recover the best possible outcome for your case.