Tips On How to Negotiate for Personal Injury Settlement
Accidents, such as car accidents, slip and fall accidents, or other accidents covered under personal injury cases, can happen any day. If you get injured due to another person’s negligence, you should be compensated for medical care and other associated costs. Essentially, this involves filing a claim with the insurance company covering the person at fault and negotiating for appropriate settlement.
Unfortunately, you should understand that defense lawyers and insurance companies often work towards ensuring that they pay the least possible amount, regardless of how serious or damaging your injuries are. Below are some tips on negotiating for a better personal injury settlement.
1. Have a basic predetermined valueAs you put together your compensation demand letter, you should estimate roughly how much your claim is worth. You should decide on the minimum possible settlement figure to accept, even before the adjuster fronts offers and counter-offers. However, you shouldn’t cling to this figure. If the adjuster highlights some facts you hadn’t considered that weaken your claim, be flexible and slightly lower your amount.
Similarly, you can revise the claim value upward if the adjuster starts at a value close to your predetermined amount or if you come across evidence that strengthens your compensation claim.
2. Don’t accept the first offerIt is usual for insurance adjusters to start negotiations by offering low amounts. By stating the first offer, the adjuster is testing if you understand the worth of your claim. Therefore, your response to the first offer should depend on if the offer is very low or reasonably low. If it is a reasonable offer, your counter-offer should be slightly lower than your original claim filed.
With slight bargaining, you should have arrived at a final fair settlement. Make sure that you state strong points that favor your claim while showing that the insured was at fault.
3. Substantiate your claimsYou should mention all emotional points that support your injury claim during negotiations. You should prove that your injuries are commensurate with your claims. As such, having a paper trail of various documents, including medical expenses, reduced wages, and more, can help substantiate your claims.
If the accident affected your ability to take care of your family, mention their suffering. If a bottle of alcoholic drink was found in the other person’s car, refer to this possibility of alcohol use. Even if the value of these factors can’t be quantified, they are powerful in ensuring that the insurance company settles the claim.
4. Hire an attorneyEven though you can negotiate the claim settlement individually, hiring qualified personal injury lawyers increases the chances of getting better settlements. Working with professionals shows the insurance company your seriousness in getting compensated. Adam S. Kutner Accident & Injury Attorneys understand how to present your injury case for higher compensation.
EndnoteWhile negotiating for a personal injury settlement may seem simple, it is important that you understand the statute of limitations. Any personal injury case has a deadline for filing claims. Despite some exceptions, you won’t be able to claim compensation after two years in most states. Start preparing your case immediately after the accident to avoid being timed out. Working with a personal injury attorney can simplify this process as well.
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