When you are injured in an accident, it is important to navigate yourself through the negotiation process so that you get the best settlement possible. In a perfect world, the person who hits you will admit fault and their insurance company will extend a settlement offer to you that includes all of the expenses that you have incurred and some. While this is an ideal scenario, insurance companies are in business to keep claims settlements down and they will give claimants low-ball offers in hopes that you will accept an early offer. If you are not sure how to negotiate the best settlement possible take the following steps:
Avoid Taking an Early Offer and Work With the Experts
You may be surprised at just how quickly your insurance adjuster has forwarded you a settlement offer to close your claim. Rather than signing release forms and agreements, Braithwaite Boyle Accident Injury Law, a firm of expert Red Deer injury lawyers, suggests that you avoid accepting any early offer that you receive. The first offer is simply an offer that starts the negotiation process. The adjuster is using a very well known tactic to see if you know what your claim is worth or if you are willing to close the claim before you incur some inevitable expenses. If you receive a low but reasonable offer from your insurer, counteroffers may be appropriate. If you receive a denial or determination that is not fair at all, contacting an attorney may be necessary.
Send in a Demand Letter To Your Adjuster
Having a settlement amount in mind before you start entertaining offers is important. If you do not know what your claim is worth, how are you going to know if the offer you receive is fair or not? A demand letter is a letter sent to your adjuster that reveals how much you are willing to settle for. Never start with the lowest amount that you will accept because this will give you bargaining power. The demand letter is another way to start the negotiation process by taking the initiative.
Responding to Low Offers with the Right Details
Adjusters may try to justify low offers by giving you a low valuation or by establishing you at-fault. It is your duty to respond to the offer based on the strength of your case. Adjusters are human, and they need the right details to extend better offers. If you have a photo of severe damage, you were the victim of a drunk driver, or you were disfigured and could not care for a child, do not be afraid to emphasize emotional aspects of the loss so you can hit an emotional nerve.
Adjusters work with one another to agree on an offer. If you are not getting the response you would like during settlement negotiations, know when you should contact an attorney so that you can fight for what you deserve. When you work with an attorney, they will fight for compensation to cover your medical expenses and future expenses as well.