Position yourself to get the best settlement from the insurance company after any kind of accident.
If you ‘re making a personal injury claim after any kind of accident, at some point it ‘s probably going to be fourth dimension to negotiate with the other side ‘s policy company. ( bill : even if you ‘ve taken the extra step of filing a personal injury lawsuit, keep in mind that village negotiations will be ongoing, and your case could reach an out-of-court resolution at any time. )
If you or your personal injury lawyer have presented the insurance company with an organized demand letter and proper support documents, the negotiation process might consist of nothing more than a few phone calls with an insurance claims adjuster. But the big painting typically looks like this : Whether through written parallelism or more colloquially, you ( or your lawyer ) and the indemnity adjuster will each make your points about the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. then the adjuster will make an offer to settle your claim for an sum lower than what you requested in your demand letter. You will counter with a figure higher than the adjuster ‘s offer but lower than your original visualize. typically, after two or three earphone calls you will agree on a settlement digit somewhere in between .
Let ‘s look at how to best position your claim for achiever.
Have a Settlement Amount in Mind
As character of putting together your demand letter, you should have determined what you believe your call is worth. ( Learn how insurers value a personal injury claim. ) Within that range, and before you speak to an adjuster about your need, decide on a minimum settlement name that you will accept. This calculate is for your own information—so you can keep your bottom channel in take care when under the pressures of negotiating—but it is not something you should reveal to the adjuster .
You do not, however, have to cling to the figure you set for yourself. If an adjuster points out some facts you had not considered but that clearly make your claim weak, you may have to lower your design a bit. And, if the adjuster starts with an offer at or near your minimum, you may want to revise your figure up .
Reservation of Rights Letter
If you receive a “ mental reservation of rights ” letter from the insurance company, do n’t be alarmed or intimidated. This letter informs you that the caller is investigating your claim, but that it is reserving its veracious not to pay you anything if it turns out that the accident is not covered under the policy. The letter merely protects the policy party by preventing you from claiming that the company ‘s policy policy covers your accident good because it began settlement negotiations with you .
Do Not Jump at a First Offer
When the policy adjuster makes you a first offer, it may be so low that it is barely a tactic to see if you know what you are doing ( see below ). Or, it may be a reasonable offer, fair besides first gear. If the propose is fair, you can immediately make a counteroffer that is a little spot lower than your demand letter sum. This shows the adjuster that you, besides, are being reasonable and are willing to compromise. A little more dicker should cursorily get you to a final liquidation amount you both think is fair.
Get the Adjuster to Justify a Low Offer
If an adjuster makes a first offer so low that it is obviously just a negociate tactic to see if you know what your claim is very worth, do not immediately lower the sum you put in your demand letter. rather, ask the adjuster to give you specific reasons why the propose is then low, and make notes of what he or she tells you. then write a brief letter responding to each of the factors the adjuster has mentioned. ( See a sample answer to an unreasonably low colonization crack. )
Depending on the forte of any of the adjuster ‘s reasons, you can lower your demand slightly, but, before lowering the measure very far, wait to see if the adjuster will budge after receiving your answer .
The following time you speak with the adjuster, begin by asking for a response to your answer letter. The adjuster should nowadays make you a reasonable offer upon which you will be able to bargain and arrive at a fairly settlement figure. Remember, most personal injury cases settle at some point, it ‘s good a motion of when .
Emphasize Emotional Points
In these negotiations, do n’t bother to go over all the facts again. Just emphasize the strongest points in your favor—for exemplar, that the guarantee was wholly at mistake for the accident, that you had a very irritating injury, that your aesculapian costs were reasonable, and/or that you had long-run or permanent wave physical effects.
however, it may help to mention any emotional points supporting your claim. If, for exemplar, you have sent the adjuster a particularly solid photograph of a crush cable car or a severe-looking injury, refer to it. If your wound interfered with your ability to care for your child, mention that your child suffered as a result. evening though there is no way to put a dollar prize on emotional distress and “ pain and suffer “, these components of an hurt person ‘s losses ( “ damages “ ) can go a retentive way toward getting an indemnity ship’s company to come to the table with a fair colony crack .
Put the Settlement in Writing
When you and the indemnity adjuster ultimately reach agreement, immediately confirm the terms in a letter to the adjuster. This letter can be short and sweet, stating the come for which you settled, what injuries or damages the colony covers, and the date by which you expect to receive settlement documents from the policy company .
More Information About Negotiating Your Personal Injury Claim
For more details on negotiating an insurance title, including sample letters to insurance companies, suggestions for handling negotiations, and strategies for dealing with an policy company that refuses to make a fair offer, see How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim, by Joseph L. Matthews ( Nolo ) .