Whether you have a personal injury claim or you were in a car accident, after submitting a demand letter, it is time to negotiate. If you have presented a demand letter and proper supporting documents to an insurance company, your claim negotiation process will typically consist of nothing more than a few phone calls with your insurance claim adjuster. Below are some suggestions to help you succeed during the different stages of the process.
Have Already a Settlement Amount in Mind
It is important that you should have determined what you believe your claim is worth. Within that range and before talking to an adjuster about the demand, try to decide on a minimum settlement figure that you’ll accept. This is for your information so that you can keep your bottom line in mind when you are under the pressure of negotiating – this should be something that you shouldn’t reveal to the adjuster. However, do not cling to the figure you have set for yourself.
Don’t Jump at First Offer
When an insurance adjuster makes you a first offer, this may be low that it’s just a tactic to see if you know what you’re doing. Or sometimes it may be a reasonable offer, yet too low. If it is reasonable, immediately make a counteroffer that is a bit lower than your demand letter amount. This shows the adjuster that you are also being fair and are willing to compromise. A little bargaining should also quickly get you to a final settlement amount that you both think is fair.
Emphasize Emotional Points
In these negotiations, do not bother to go over all the facts again. Try to emphasize the strong points in your favor. For example, the insured party was at fault, that you had a very painful injury and all your medical costs were reasonable, or if you had long-term or permanent physical effects. It may also help to mention some emotional points that will support your claim. For example, you have sent an adjuster a strong photo of a smashed car and a severe looking injury, then refer to it. If the injury interfered with the ability to care for your kids, you can also mention that your kids suffered as a result. Although there is no way to put a monetary value on emotional factors, they can be powerful in getting the insurance company to settle a claim.
Put The Settlement in Writing
If you and the insurance adjuster finally reach to an agreement, confirm immediately the agreement in a letter to the adjuster. The letter should be short and sweet and stating the amount for which you have both settled, the damages and the injuries that the settlement covers, and the date by which you expect to receive the settlement documents from the insurance company.
These tips may sound easy to do, but it is important that you have a personal injury lawyer that will help and guide you throughout the process. Remember these tips to achieve a fair settlement claim that you want.