I nearly always negotiate. You have to.
We have an adversary system. I have to do the best I can for my client. The adjuster – or lawyer – on the other side has to do the best he can for the insurance company.
This works for me a lot, because insurance companies make really dumb offers to a lot of auto accident victims before they have a lawyer. So the victims hire me, to see if I can do better in regards to benefits and compensation.
Well – even after deducting my fee – I usually do a lot better for people than they can do on their own. There’s no guarantee; I just usually can.
But the adversary system means each side has to try as hard as they can to get as much as possible for themselves. The victim’s lawyer has to start high. And the insurance lawyer or the adjuster has to start low, or get fired.
And then each side keeps trading numbers until they reach a point where they believe the case can be settled for a number that both sides can accept.
There are two times I can remember taking the first offer:
1) The insurance company offered as much as I could possibly get at trial, my client was in jail in Kentucky on a six month robbery sentence, and I – obviously – didn’t want the insurance company to know where he was. I got my client’s permission, and faxed the acceptance of the settlement offer before it could be withdrawn. (And no, he wasn’t in jail when he contacted me the first time.)
2) The insurance company made an excellent offer that I was afraid they would withdraw if we counteroffered. I got my client’s permission, and settled the next day.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. You get used to asking for more than the case is worth, because it’s the only way to get everything you can. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know what your lawsuit is worth, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.