Should You Accept the Initial Settlement Offer Tendered by the Insurance Company?
Interviewer: If an insurance company contacts me and offers me a settlement, should I accept it?
It Is Likely That You Will Be Contacted as Soon as the Insurance Company Learns of the Incident
Bill Levinson: Generally speaking, they contact the injured person as soon as they possibly can. They will offer a number that invariably is inadequate and unfair. However, they do that because many people do take the money.
The Initial Offer Is Most Always Inadequate and Unfair
I see more people who have spent a considerable period of time negotiating with the insurance company. The insurance companies have an interesting strategy, on premises liability. All throughout the treatment process they will be very cordial. As soon as the injury is healed and the individual begins to talk money then the insurance company takes a very hardline. They do that for a really obvious reason.
The injured person might be an engineer or a homemaker, but the person they’re dealing with is a professional insurance adjuster whose job it is and whose bonuses are paid on how little they pay. The bargaining positions are not even close to being equal.
It Is Advisable to Have Your Attorney Handle Any Negotiations with the Insurance Company
Fortunately, for the smart ones they will seek out me or another lawyer that does this work because we are equal, sometimes better than the adjuster or dealing that.
If the Store Posted Warning Signs in the Location Where You Fell, Do They Still Have Liability?
Interviewer: What if I had a slip and fall injury at a store but there are warning signs posted where I fell. Does this automatically mean that I don’t have a case?
Bill Levinson: The way you’re stating it, the store does not have liability. All the store could do is the best it can. If they warn you that this floor has just been washed and it’s slippery and be careful and you go walking through there and land on your head, it’s pretty much your problem.
Effective Signage: The Signs Have to Be Properly Posted and in Plain View
I have handled several cases where the signs were not appropriately placed, where the cleaners would go along and they’ll place one sign. Then they’ll keep going down the hallway for example or off of the main hallway of a mall and they leave the sign where they first started.
Interviewer: What if the person argued that they didn’t even see the sign in the first place?
Bill Levinson: The effectiveness of the sign was pretty much limited. A person has a right to be confident if there’s no sign then that it’s safe to walk on. If the sign is 20 or 30 feet back, how are they going to know? The sign is totally ineffective.
You may contact us at 253-854-7440.