5 Tips to Negotiate your Personal Injury Settlement
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If you have incurred damages because of someone’s negligence or misconduct, you should be determined to obtain fair compensation for it. In order to obtain financial reimbursement from the responsible party, you will have to file a claim with their insurer. The insurance adjuster will review and evaluate your case before issuing a settlement offer. Bear in mind that the insurer’s number one priority is to avoid or minimize a payout. If you want to be compensated reasonably, you shall have to fight for your rights and act cautiously.
Negotiating with the insurance company can be a challenging and arduous affair, as they know more about personal injury claims than you do. They are well-equipped with strategies and experience to maintain the upper hand. Nonetheless, you can still acquire a favorable settlement without having to go to court. The following tips will prove useful during negotiations with the perpetrator’s insurer:
1.) Know your Claim’s worth
You should have a specific amount in mind when you sit down to draft your personal injury settlement demand letter. Do not aim for the minimum expenditure required to overcome your economic damages. You have to contemplate upon future costs of the injuries as well; if you only include expenses that have already been bore, you shall have to pay for the remaining costs out of your own pocket. For example, if the injury requires follow up treatment and you have to miss work because of it, you need to estimate an amount for those overheads as well.
You should also highlight the emotional impact of the injuries to increase the worth of your claim. While there is no way to put an exact figure on your pain and suffering, you do deserve restitution for it. Decide a minimum amount you would be willing to accept, but do not reveal it to the insurance adjuster. The amount you mention in your demand letter should be greater than your desired minimum, but not unrealistically high.
2.) Don’t rush into the first offer
If the insurance adjuster is in a hurry to settle the case, do not assume that they are doing this out of sympathy for you. They obviously realize that you are desperate for funds and throw a lowball offer to get off the hook. Do not make the mistake of accepting the very first offer even if it is close to your desired minimum. You should take your time to respond and send a counter offer that is only slightly lower than your original demand. This gives the impression that you know the worth of your claim and you are not going to give up that easily.
3.) Demand justification for a low offer
If the offer sent to you is exceptionally low, you must ask the insurance adjuster to justify the amount. The insurer might not expect this if they were simply deceiving you. However, they will come up with reasons for the low offer, and you should reflect upon them. If any of their explanations are well-founded, you may agree to reduce your demand to some extent. On the other hand, if their justifications hold no substance, it is recommended to remain adamant.
4.) Emphasize on the stronger points of your case
Every case has its strengths and weaknesses. The insurer will try to point out the weak points in your claim, whereas you have to emphasize on the strong points. If the insurer has provided solid reasons for a meager looking settlement, you should stress upon the emotional damages of the injuries. For instance, you should elaborate the fact that your injury prevented you from taking care of a young child who feels neglected.
5.) Be Patient
Insurance adjusters have a habit of trying the tolerance levels of every claimant. They will urge you to succumb to their tricks by delaying response and ignoring your calls. More than often, this attitude of theirs coerces the claimant to accept a lowball offer. Most personal injury victims are in dire need of money, so they become impatient; there’s also the unwarranted fear of getting nothing at all.
Bonus Tip: Get a Lawyer
The conclusion is that negotiating a personal injury settlement with the insurance adjuster is no piece of cake. The chances of ending up with an excellent settlement are pretty slim, unless you have the support of a legal expert. If you work with personal injury attorney from the start, you won’t have to deal with the shenanigans of insurance companies. With an attorney by your side, you will obtain a fair settlement sooner than you think.