The commercials for giant insurance corporations try to make them look friendly and personable. They want you to believe that they’re going to do everything in their power to help if you find yourself in need of the coverage you pay for every month.

Unfortunately, reality and television don’t share much in common, especially when it comes to insurance companies. Those big companies have become so huge and successful not by paying out generously to their policyholders, but by minimizing their expenses, which include how much they pay on even the most serious and legitimate of claims.

In the wake of a serious motor vehicle wreck, dealing with the insurance company can be one of the most critical steps. Unfortunately, it is also one fraught with the potential for mistakes and problems.

Don’t accept any offers until you know what’s fair

The biggest mistake you could make, other than implying you are somehow liable for the wreck, is agreeing to the terms offered by an insurance company without hesitation. You, no doubt, want to put this whole issue behind you and pay off your medical bills. However, that settlement offer may not cover all of your expenses.

Insurance companies will offer you the lowest amount that they think they can feasibly convince you to accept. Many times, their first offer is much lower than what is reasonable for your circumstance. You need to determine how much the accident will cost you before you agree to any sort of settlement.

Look at your missed work and calculate how much income you have lost and will likely lose in the future. Then, you need to add in other expenses, such as your medical care, the property damage from the accident, diminished vehicle value and other secondary costs. If the settlement offer is not at least that amount, if not higher, then you should reject it and plan to negotiate for a better settlement.

Have a figure of your own to present as a counteroffer

One of the best ways to show your insurance company that you are serious about your rejection of their initial settlement offer is to provide a counteroffer based on your actual losses.

For some people, doing that may feel intimidating. Others may simply not have the energy to focus on such negotiations while dealing with a car wreck injury as well.

Working with a Dalton personal injury attorney can help by freeing you up to focus on your own recovery and getting back to work. Your attorney can handle negotiating with your insurance company or taking the necessary steps to pursue your claim, even if you have to go to court to get a reasonable settlement offer.