Suppose you plan to file a personal injury claim after you were involved in an accident at some point. In that case, you will need to negotiate a compensation amount with the offender’s insurance company. Keep in mind that the insurance company’s lawyer and an adjuster will try to get your claim dismissed or its value reduced. However, having local personal injury lawyers on your side is essential. Once your lawyers have presented the insurer with a demand letter and the right supporting documents, the negotiation process will likely involve a few phone calls with the insurance adjuster. In a straightforward claim, the adjuster will make a settlement offer. Your lawyer will review it and advise you accordingly. Here are important tips to help you get the amount of compensation you deserve.
Think about a fair settlement amount
As an integral part of putting together a demand letter, you should have a predetermined settlement amount. Think about what you firmly believe your claim is worth. Within that range and after speaking to the insurance adjuster about your settlement demand, determine the minimum settlement figure that you’re willing to accept. Remember, this amount is your bottom line, and when under the pressure of negotiating, you should not reveal it to the insurance adjuster.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to cling to that figure, particularly if the insurance adjuster points out facts that you had not considered clearly and could weekend your claim. In such a case, it’s essential to be flexible and, whenever necessary, settle for a lower but fair amount. In case the insurance adjuster begins with a settlement offer that is near or at your minimum amount, you can safely revise your desired figure upward.
Don’t jump at the first settlement offer.
Once the insurance adjuster makes the first offer, it could be a technique to find out what you think about the value of your claim. It may be a reasonable offer or just too low for what you deserve. So, think carefully about how you should respond to the initial offer. Suppose this offer is reasonable but lower than your demand letter amount. In that case, it is possible to make a counter-offer that is slightly higher than the adjuster’s offer and lower than the settlement demand letter amount.
This will show that you’re being reasonable and ready to compromise as long as you can reach a better agreement. However, if the offer is too low, you can reject it and let the insurance adjuster know the specific amount you can accept. Your lawyer will help you take the necessary measures to ensure you get the compensation you deserve, even if that means your case should go to court.
Settlement negotiations involve complex processes. Though you can still represent yourself, you have a better chance of getting fair compensation if you hire an experienced lawyer. Remember, you will be facing an insurance company whose lawyers will try to find the slightest mistake to get your claim denied or its value reduced.