If you sustain an injury during a car accident, you may wonder who will pay for your medical bills and losses, including wages. Wisconsin is a tort state. Therefore the at-fault driver’s insurer must cover your expenses.
However, it is essential to decline the insurance company’s initial settlement offer for the following reasons.
The adjuster does not work for you
All drivers in Wisconsin must carry auto insurance with minimum liability coverage for injuries to other drivers or passengers. However, regardless of an at-fault driver’s policy limits, the insurance adjuster will always extend the lowest possible offer to protect the insurer’s bottom line. Adjusters are aware that injured motorists may be eager to settle their claims if their medical bills are mounting and they cannot return to work for an extended period.
The initial offer may not adequately reflect your needs
Insurance companies in Wisconsin have 30 days to settle claims before injured parties can exert their right to file a civil lawsuit for damages. Still, adjusters and at-fault drivers hope to settle claims as quickly as possible because negotiations during that period can lead to higher payments that eat into insurers’ revenues and increase drivers’ premiums.
However, the treatment course and full prognosis for your injuries often require additional time. Therefore, as the full extent of your injuries emerges, you may discover that your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits. Declining the adjuster’s offers during the 30-day settlement period can give you the option to file a civil lawsuit to collect additional damages from the other driver.
A civil lawsuit may result in significantly greater damages than you might receive from an insurance adjuster. However, a jury may reduce your award by the percentage of responsibility it assigns you for the accident.