This is fantastic — it means you are taking action to keep the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. indeed, it means you ‘re ready to demand the compensation you deserve for your miserable and losses .
If you are determined to seek fair compensation for your losses, you must be prepared to negotiate with the insurance company (or, more specifically, the claims adjuster) to get what you want.
As a professional personal wound lawyer, I have helped countless clients negotiated with insurance claims adjusters to win the recompense they deserve. And in this article, I ‘ll share 5 steps to take to begin the settlement negotiation serve. I ‘ll besides explain what you need to be mindful of during the negotiation procedure if you decide to speak to an adjuster by yourself.
Remember, the more effective you are in how you negotiate a settlement with an policy claims adjuster, the higher the colony offer you ‘re likely to make out with .
What is an Insurance Claims Adjuster?
A claims adjuster is person who works for the insurance party to determine liability .
The indemnity adjuster ‘s job is to investigate damages resulting from accidents to people and property. Based on what they find during their probe, they will then determine the extent of the indemnity company ‘s liability .
In a personal injury casing, an adjuster will investigate the title and determine if — and to what extent — the claimant ‘s injuries are eligible for policy coverage ( whether by your policy or by the at-fault party ‘s policy ) .
If the insurance adjuster does find coverage for your accident, an investigation phase will begin to evaluate the extent of this coverage .
The probe phase may include :
- Interviews with witnesses
- An inspection of injuries or property damage
- Review of medical records and accident reports, and any other relevant materials.
once the adjuster has finished investigating a claim, they will draft a wrong report detailing the sum fiscal losses related to your accident. The information in this report will be used to initiate the claim settlement process .
Begin the Settlement Negotiation Process (5 Steps)
nowadays that you understand what a claims adjuster ‘s function is, let ‘s discuss how to begin the colony negotiation summons .
The work starts by filing your call .
Step 1: File An Insurance Claim
No matter the circumstances of your accident, the first step in negotiating an policy settlement is to determine where to file the indemnity claim .
If you were involved in a cable car accident, there are a few ways you might choose to file .
Keep in heed, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, driving without insurance can result in penalties. And if you are in an car accident without indemnity, even if the other driver was at-fault, you may be prohibited from collecting certain amounts of compensation .
- If you live in a no-fault state, it doesn’t matter who caused the accident — you always file a claim with your own insurance company.
- If you live in an at-fault state like Louisiana, the injured party is responsible for filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Or, if you ‘ve been injured in a slip and drop accident, then you ‘d typically file an policy claim with the business property ‘s insurance company .
Remember, even though filing a claim is a necessary tone in the process, and you do need the adjuster ‘s assistant, the insurance company is not on your slope. It ‘s your province to keep organized and negotiate equally effectively as you can .
Step 2: Consolidate Your Records
After you file your title, the adjacent step is to organize your records .
To defend yourself when negotiating with an adjuster, you ‘ll want to have an organized record of all files and documents related to your accident .
This is crucial because you will rely on these documents as tell during negotiations. Having the entirety of tell available at your fingertips, in chronological order, is how you will build your encase — and acquire .
Examples of relevant evidence may include:
- Medical bills
- Police reports or accident reports
- Property damage quotes
- Photographs of injuries or vehicle damage
- Witness statements
- Car repair estimates
As a dominion of flick, any materials that can be used for validation purposes in your injury colonization should be kept in your files .
The more evidence you can use to defend your position, the greater the prospect of a satisfactory resolution in your indemnity colony .
Step 3: Calculate Your Minimum Settlement Amount
once you ‘ve filed your title and organized your records, it ‘s time for you to calculate what your claim is truly deserving ( adenine good as you can, anyhow ) .
You can estimate the value of your claim by reviewing your records and considering the fiscal implications of :
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Expenses related to the accident and injury
- Damaged property
- Pain and suffering
In this mistreat, you are going over everything that could possibly have a monetary value attached to it. If it cost you money directly or impacted your ability to earn income, add it to your calculations .
Once you’ve made an estimate, you’ll need to send a demand letter to the insurance company demanding fair compensation.
A Demand Letter is a formal letter that outlines all of the damages you incurred from your accident. The objective with your necessitate letter is to make a shell for the compensation you ‘re entitled to. Make sure to include as many details as you can about the accident .
In detail, outline injuries, aesculapian treatment you received, and any early losses such as trouble and distress or emotional distress resulting from your accident .
While you ‘re waiting to receive a colonization volunteer from the insurance adjuster, come up with a minimal settlement come in heed .
This issue is n’t meant to be shared .
rather, keep this figure in mind as you begin negotiating with the adjuster — it is the total you should refuse to go any lower than .
Step 4: Reject the Claims Adjuster’s First Settlement Offer
In most cases, the adjuster will come back at you with a low ball colonization offer following your demand letter .
This is a normal, if thwart, part of the claims process.
Do n’t be surprised if their first offer seems about absurdly low. Oftentimes adjusters will employ this as a tactic to test your negotiation ability and see whether you know the worth of your claim at all .
Your claim may have been absolutely reasonable, but remember : adjusters work for the insurance company. It is in the adjuster ‘s interest to limit the extent of their company ‘s liability and use your miss of legal cognition to pay you less .
If they can sniff out a vulnerability or exploit your lack of knowledge, they will attempt to do so.
My advice is to meet their rejection letter with a counteroffer. In a follow-up letter, you can press the adjuster for more details about their evaluation and explain your reasoning for rejecting their initial propose .
Let ‘s be clear ; once you reject their first offer, the negotiations begin. now it is prison term to defend your demand for bazaar compensation using all the attest at your disposal .
Step 5: Emphasize The Strongest Points in Your Favor
The finish of your negotiation efforts is to reach an agreement with the insurance company and get it in writing .
To do that, you want to be both reasonable and fair, while besides emphasizing the badness of the accident and your injuries .
You want to get the best possible result without dragging negotiations on for an eternity .
To do that — to reach the optimum result and colony value — focus on the strongest points in your party favor. Leave uncertainties and impertinent facts out of the discussion .
For exercise, if you were involved in a car accident, then be certain to reiterate repeatedly how the other driver was at-fault .
- Emphasize the pain and suffering from your injury.
- List off the costs of all the medical bills you had to pay to treat your injury.
- State any long-term physical effects that could likely result from your accident.
When you emphasize the strongest points in your favor, one after another, and back them up with records, testify, or research, you stand a better gamble to defend your position .
You besides show the adjuster that you are a capable negotiator, one not to be taken advantage of with low offers .
What To Expect During the Negotiation Process
therefore far we ‘ve covered the first 5 steps to take when preparing to negotiate an injury village .
now let ‘s discuss a few general, but no less critical, considerations to keep in judgment when dealing with insurance claims adjusters .
First, Time is of The Essence
adenine soon as your accident happens, the clock starts ticking .
In one feel, there is a literal total of time in which you must take carry through to push for a bonny colony ( the legislative act of limitations in Louisiana is just one year ) .
On the early handwriting, the negotiations themselves can take clock .
There are many steps ( at least 5 as you ‘ve already learned ) to keep track of during the action and even more records and documents you ‘ll accumulate along the way .
My best advice is to begin the process a soon as the accident has occurred, and you ‘ve sought checkup treatment. Make certain to consolidate your records-as-evidence early in the procedure to make sure all details are accounted for .
The more clearness you have of the entire accident, the better .
To leverage time as an ally, add a deadline to your demand letter specifying the go steady that the adjuster has to accept your volunteer. This elementary act will show them you mean clientele and will not tolerate them “ running out the clock. ” They wo n’t even try .
Second, Be Careful What You Tell The Adjuster
Yes, what you say toilet distress you .
Make no mistake ; your claim adjuster is looking for every opportunity to use what you say against you. Adjusters are looking for ways to diminish your injury call and save the insurance company some money at your expense .
It is always crucial to be honest about your circumstances. But to ensure you do n’t say something you ‘ll regret, refrain from admitting any fault if you can .
rather, remember to emphasize the asperity of the accident and the atrocious injuries you ‘ve sustained .
The adjuster is looking for ways to assign blame or downplay the badness of your accident and injuries — do n’t let them .
Third, The adjuster Doesn’t Want You To Hire an Attorney
One of the biggest pieces of leverage a claims adjuster has is knowledge .
An indemnity company employee understands the law in ways you probably do not. The adjuster will use your gap in cognition in attempts to swindle you with a bottom-of-the-barrel settlement measure. This is their game. unfortunately, it is one you must play to receive the recompense you deserve for your losses .
Like an interrogation scene from a detective drama, the adjuster is an expert at knowing what to say and do to get you to say the wrong thing. adenine long as the policy company is dealing with you by yourself, they have the upper hand .
Fortunately, you need not negotiate alone. An experience personal injury lawyer is all it takes to shift the might back into your corner and contend for your rights with confidence. When you have an lawyer who knows all the rules, you can take advantage of that cognition to win the game .
A personal injury lawyer will deal with policy companies on your behalf, knowing all the loopholes and tactics they use to avoid having to pay you money.
Read more: Best car insurance companies for 2022
What ‘s more, an experienced lawyer with years of experience can negotiate for you and reach a more favorable dollar value for your settlement claim .
Get Your FREE Consultation with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Negotiating a settlement agreement takes real solitaire and perseverance. And if a cover ca n’t be reached, it may be time to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Bruscato Law today for legal advice on how to effectively negotiate your colonization — and win .
Whether you ‘re considering filing a claim or you ‘ve already begun the march, please do n’t hesitate to schedule a free reference with Bruscato Law tauten. As an have personal injury lawyer, I am fortunate to act as a legal resource to clients throughout Monroe and the surrounding areas .