Dealing with an insurance company is one of the many terrible side effects that comes with being hurt in a car accident. You’re already going through emotional and physical turmoil; the last thing you want to think about is the burden of medical bills and lost wages. But you shouldn’t settle for less than you deserve, especially when you weren’t at fault. Follow the tips below when negotiating with an insurance company to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Having a trusted personal injury lawyer at your side will make it that much easier.
1. Have a Settlement in Mind
When you wrote your demand letter, you should have determined your desired claim. Now that the negotiation process is starting, decide on a minimum settlement you’d be willing to accept. Don’t share this too soon, but have it in mind during the negotiating process. Your lawyer will be able to negotiate for you in order to get the settlement up to at least that minimum. This is especially hard to do yourself when the insurance adjuster likely starts pointing out things in order to try and weaken your claim.
2. When Hurt in a Car Accident Don’t Just Accept the First Offer
Remember, the adjuster is negotiating just like you—the first offer is likely a tactic for them to gauge how low they think you’d be willing to go. Keep coming back with counteroffers so that they see you are willing to compromise but not willing to accept an offer that is far too low.
3. Request Justification From the Adjuster
Don’t come back right away with a counteroffer if your first offer from the insurance company is remarkably low. This is likely a negotiation tactic. Instead, request that they provide specific reasoning for offering such a low settlement. Write a response letter addressing each point they make in their justification—they may have some facts wrong, and if your response is valid, they might come back with a higher settlement offer before you’ve even provided a counteroffer. Have some patience, as this process will likely take a while.
4. Engage Their Emotions
Remember, no matter how tough they can be, your insurance adjuster is also simply a human being. Bring the emotional impact of your claim into your negotiating, and bring evidence where possible. For example, attach photos of your injuries to your letter if possible. It’s important to clearly state the emotional impact being hurt in a car accident had on you as well as the facts of your medical bills and work you’ve had to miss.
5. Put It in Writing
Once you’ve reached an agreement with your insurance adjuster, immediately put it in writing and have them sign it to formalize the agreement. Your personal injury lawyer will help you put the agreement in writing most effectively.
Whether you’ve been hurt in a car accident, need to challenge a workers’ comp benefits decision or have some other personal injury claim, contact the Law Offices of Peter N. Davis and associates today. We’ve gotten over $100 million awarded to clients in and around Paterson, NJ, fighting insurance companies since 1988.