Before an adjuster offers a settlement, make sure you consult with your attorney to determine whether or not it is fair. Your determination should consider all past, current, and future economic and non-economic damages. It is critical to be prepared in negotiating your personal injury settlement.
After you and your lawyer put together a demand letter, decide what you believe your case is worth. It would be best if you never settled for less than what you deserve when negotiating your personal injury settlement.
Don't Accept the First Offer
Insurance claims adjusters work for a company that prioritizes its bottom line, which means they're likely to offer a low amount on the first offer. This initial offer may seem tempting, but accepting the first offer is never in your best interests.
Before negotiating with an insurance company, you should consider how much you believe your injury claim is worth. Having a base negotiating price allows you to be more objective and negotiate aggressively with the insurance company for the compensation you deserve.
You can also help yourself by gathering documents and evidence supporting your injury claims, like police reports, medical records, and witness testimony. A personal injury attorney can provide additional documentation and advocate for your rights during negotiations. An experienced lawyer can also identify weaknesses in the insurance company's argument that might lead them to lower their initial offer. This can lead to how are personal injury settlements paid out favorably. Your case can proceed to court if you cannot agree on a settlement.
Don't Be Afraid to Reject Lowball Offers
When an insurance company first evaluates your case, they'll likely have a range in mind of what they think your claim is worth. They'll probably start at the low end of this range, hoping you'll take their offer and move on.
This is a standard insurance tactic, and it's important to remember they're not interested in paying you what your case is worth. It's up to you to counter their initial lowball offer with a fair number that reflects the total value of your claim.
This includes the non-economic damages of your injury, like pain and suffering and emotional distress. It also includes documentation of your losses, like lost income, property damage, and medical bills. You may also need to provide statements from your doctors regarding permanent disabilities or other factors affecting your claim's value, such as PTSD or anxiety. It's best to work with a personal injury lawyer, who can help you compile the appropriate evidence and negotiate a reasonable counteroffer. Doing so will increase your chances of a higher settlement.
Don't Let Your Emotions Get the Better of You
When negotiating your personal injury settlement, it's easy to let your emotions get the better of you. After all, you're dealing with someone who may have caused your injuries and trying to regain your money for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
However, it would be best to focus on your case's facts when negotiating with an insurance company. Taking detailed notes or asking that all discussions be recorded can help you keep your focus and not allow your emotions to distract you.
Before you start talking to insurance adjusters, decide on a range of what you think your claim is worth and stick with that figure. This will give you a starting point when negotiating and can help prevent you from getting emotionally swayed by the insurer's lowball offers. Consider any long-term impacts your injuries may have on your life when determining the amount you seek in compensation. Emphasize these effects in your demand letter and support them with evidence or records to bolster your argument.
Don't Underestimate the Value of Your Claim
Whether the insurance adjuster has contacted you directly or sent you their initial settlement offer after reviewing your demand letter, it's essential to know what you think your case is worth. By coming into negotiations prepared, you can avoid being swayed by the insurance company into agreeing to a number that only partially reflects your injuries and recovery.
An excellent personal injury attorney will use medical records, police reports, expert testimony, and receipts of your expenses and losses to calculate the value of your claim. They will consider past and future costs (such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering) and your physical limitations.
When the insurance adjuster makes an offer that you believe is low, ask them why they believe it is and make notes of their answers. You can then use this information to counter their argument and prove that the amount they offer is far below what you deserve. Be sure to get your conversations, including those held over the phone or in person, memorialized in writing.
Don't Be Afraid to Hire an Attorney
A personal injury lawyer can assist you in determining the value of your injuries so that you can send a demand letter to the at-fault party's insurance provider. After reviewing your requests, the insurance company will present a counteroffer. Your attorney can also assist you with documenting your injuries and losses, such as receipts of emergency transportation costs, long-term and short-term medical expenses, prescription/medicine bottles, and pay stubs demonstrating a loss of wages.
An experienced attorney can better anticipate what tactics the insurance company might use during negotiations, and they can lead discussions to a fair settlement on your behalf. Moreover, your attorney can file a lawsuit when negotiations are not going as planned and request a jury award.
An injured person might be tempted to accept an insurance company's first offer when desperate for cash to cover their expenses. However, doing so could cost you the chance to get the total compensation for your injuries that you deserve. Therefore, hiring an attorney to handle negotiating your personal injury settlement and paperwork may save you money in the long run.