Have you been involved in an accident in Plymouth? Would you like to file for a successful personal injury claim? It might not be as easy as you think especially if you are not confident about your negotiation skills. Negotiations usually start as soon as the insurance company in Plymouth has received your demand letter.
The negotiation process will mostly consist of phone calls between you and the insurance adjuster. Let’s take a look at how the negotiation process works.
How the Negotiation Process Works
Your first call with the insurance adjuster will be both of you making points about how strong or weak your claim is. You will be pointing out how strong your claim is by highlighting the severity of your injuries and how they have affected your day-to-day activities and earning capacity. The insurance adjuster will try to poke holes in your claim in order to reduce your compensation.
The adjuster will make an offer to settle your personal injury claim. You should expect the offer to be much lower than what you initially asked for in your demand letter. It should take no more than three phone calls for you to agree on a settlement figure.
You might receive a “reservation of rights” letter from the insurance company soon after starting negotiations with you. This letter is meant to inform you that the insurance company is investigating your claim and they reserve the right to not pay you if they find out your accident is not covered under their policy. It’s a standard procedure and it helps to protect the company from making unnecessary payments.
How Much is Your Claim Worth?
If you are putting together a demand letter for a car accident claim, you should know how much your claim is worth. The same thing applies to all other personal injury claims.
Figuring out how much your claim is worth is a critical aspect of your personal injury claim and unfortunately, it’s the most difficult to determine. How much your case is worth depends on your particular situation. These are some of the things that you should consider when determining the value of your case:
- Medical care and related expenses
- Lost wages
- Disfigurement or permanent disability due to the accident
- Loss of social, family or educational experiences
- Emotional damages such as depression
- Damaged property
Once you have calculated how much your claim is worth, you can contact the insurance adjuster. However, make sure you have a minimum settlement figure that you can accept. You shouldn’t reveal this figure to the adjuster- it’s just a bottom line to keep in mind when under the pressure of negotiating.
You may have to adjust your figure accordingly if the adjuster identifies a few weak areas in your claim that you hadn’t factored in while valuing your case. If they start with an offer that is near your bottom line, you may want to revise the figure upward.
It’s a known fact that most insurance adjusters make very low initial offers. This is their way of finding out if you are desperate or in a hurry. Once they make their offer, you should make a counteroffer that is slightly lower than the figure you asked for in your demand letter. This should set off a back and forth process that should quickly get you a settlement amount that you think is fair.
Before you lower the figure you initially asked for in your demand letter, you should request the adjuster to justify why they gave you such a low offer. Take note of what they tell you and then write a letter responding to all the factors they mentioned. If the factors are significant, you can slightly lower your demand. The second offer the insurance adjuster makes should be reasonable and from there you can bargain and reach a fair settlement.
Make Sure the Settlement is in Writing
Once you finally reach an agreement, immediately send a letter to the insurance company confirming the agreement. Your letter should be brief and should include the amount for which you settled, what damages the settlement covers and the date by which you expect to receive the settlement documents from them.
Get Help Negotiating Your Insurance Claim
Not all cases are straightforward. If you plan to file a medical malpractice case or a product liability case, you might need to consult a Plymouth personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. Talk to one of our Kevin P Landry Law Offices personal injury lawyers by dialing 508-746-2700 or by visiting our Plymouth offices for a free initial consultation.