Negotiating the final settlement in your personal injury case is a back and forth process that requires a lot of patience. You know how much your case is worth and the insurance adjuster knows how much they are willing to pay. In order to reach a middle ground, you have to follow a certain procedure.
How the Negotiation Process Works
The negotiation process goes something like this:
- You send out a demand letter to the insurance company asking for a high amount of compensation. Keep in mind that if they immediately accept your demand, you probably asked for a very low compensation amount.
- The insurance adjuster will respond to your demand letter. They will most likely claim that you’re asking for too much by pointing out everything that’s wrong with your claim. They might even point out that some of your injuries are exaggerated or there was no need for a certain type of treatment.
- You will respond to them by producing evidence to show why you deserve that amount of compensation.
- The insurance adjuster will then make a very low counteroffer. They usually do this to see if you are desperate.
- You then make your own offer that’s a little lower than the original one that you made.
- The insurance company might decide to increase their own offer or stick to the one they had made earlier.
- At this point, you may decide to take their offer or make a counteroffer.
The negotiation process usually isn’t complicated but this depends on the type of case that you are pursuing. If you are pursuing a medical malpractice case, a product liability claim, birth injury claim or any other claim that requires an expert witness, you might want to consult an experienced and qualified personal injury lawyer.
However, if your case is straightforward, all you have to do is ensure that you have prepared for all the stages of your claim. This includes conducting a thorough investigation of your accident, gathering evidence to support your claim, learning how to draft a demand letter and evaluating how much your case is worth.
Issues the Negotiator Might Raise
Just because you gathered enough evidence to support your claim doesn’t mean the insurance adjuster won’t dispute it. Remember that insurance companies are in the business of making money, not helping their clients so you should expect them to nitpick on everything you have and try to minimize how much compensation they pay you. These are some of the issues they might bring up:
Does your insurance policy actually cover the type of accident you were involved in?
Who was responsible for the accident and to what extent were they responsible?
The Extent of Your Injuries
How serious were your injuries and how did they impact your life?
The Extent and Nature of Your Medical Treatment
They will want to know if you had any preexisting injuries and if the medical treatment you got was necessary.
Some insurance adjusters are known for acting in bad faith by asking illegitimate questions intended to mislead you into accepting less than you deserve.
How to Ensure Your Claim is Successful
During negotiations, take note of what was said. If something is to be done by a certain date, make sure that you do it.
Try not to show the adjuster that you are in a hurry to settle your claim. They can tell when someone is desperate and wants to be paid fast. That’s why they make a very low initial offer.
Ensure that you regularly follow up on your claim. If an adjuster agrees to something, make sure that it’s in writing so that when you follow up, they do not go back on their word.
Don’t Get Emotional
Avoid getting into personal battles with insurance adjusters. This can be a little hard especially if you are dealing with an inconsiderate adjuster. However, try to keep calm and present your claim without being hysterical.
Get More Information from Us
Want to learn more about the negotiation process and how it works or simply want someone to evaluate your case? Get in touch with one of our personal injury lawyers at Kevin P Landry Law Offices by dialing 401-751-0101 or pay us a visit our Providence offices today for a free initial consultation.