After being hurt in a car accident, the last thing you want to have to deal with is unfair compensation from the insurance company. You know you have to negotiate, but sometimes after all the emotional and physical turmoil you’re already going through, you just don’t have the energy.
But no one should settle for anything less than they deserve after being injured because of someone else’s poor judgment. The tips below are meant to provide guidance for dealing with an insurance company. And of course, it pays to have a trusted personal injury lawyer in your corner to help you navigate the nuances of the courtroom.
Have a Settlement in Mind
You know your desired claim that you initially stipulated in your demand letter, but also decide on a minimum settlement you’d be willing to accept once you’ve started the negotiation process. Tell only your personal injury lawyer so that they can help negotiate your settlement to reach at least that minimum. Your insurance adjuster will likely continue trying to weaken your claim, so it’s difficult to stay objective and negotiate on your own behalf. Keep your lowest acceptable settlement in the back of your mind and don’t quit until you’ve reached it.
When Hurt in a Car Accident, Don’t Accept the First Offer
The insurance adjuster’s first offer is likely a negotiation tactic, just like ones you may be using. They might give you an exceptionally low first number to see if you’d be willing to bite. But keep coming back with counteroffers; it will show that, though you are willing to compromise, you are unwilling to accept a much too low offer, and they will be forced to offer you more compensation.
Request a Justification from the Adjuster
If your first offer from the insurance company is remarkably low, don’t just reject it—request justification as to why it is so low. Again, the company is likely implementing a very low first offer as a negotiation tactic. Ask them for a specific list of reasons as to why it is so low. Then, write a response letter addressing each reason. They may have gotten some of the facts about your case wrong, and if your response is good enough, they may even make a higher offer before you’ve given a counteroffer. This will most likely be a long process, so be patient. Have your personal injury lawyer assist you in writing the best response possible.
Engage Their Emotions
Your insurance adjuster is supposed to remain objective, but don’t forget that they are also human. Bring up the emotional impact of being hurt in a car accident when possible during your negotiation. For example, if your injuries impacted your ability to take care of your children, state why. Car accidents can be very emotionally taxing on top of financially straining, so it’s important to remind your adjuster of this during your case.
Put It in Writing
After you and your insurance adjuster have reached an agreement, have them immediately and formally put it in writing. Include the amount, date and signatures; your lawyer will be able to help you craft the letter as effectively as possible.
Contact the Robert White Attorney at Law today to get the personal injury compensation you deserve after being hurt in a car accident. Conveniently located in Odessa, Robert White is the go-to personal injury lawyer for all of West Texas.