If you have been involved in a major car wreck, at some point in time you may ultimately be negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The question is what amount of money will justly and fairly compensate you for what you have been through. The consequences of a car accident can include medical bills, mental anguish, disfigurement, and pain and suffering to mention a few. Personal injury lawyers, like our Firm, have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and are best suited to handle these types of negotiations. However, if you want to try to negotiate with the insurance company yourself, here are some tips to keep in mind.
1. Before Negotiating, Send An Organized And Detailed Demand Letter
Before you call the at-fault party’s insurance company, you want to put together a demand that details to the other side your strongest arguments concerning the injuries you sustained, the medical treatment you sought as a result, the cost of that medical treatment, information pertaining to whether you lost any time from work as a result, as well as why the other person is legally responsible for your injuries. In that letter, you should also want to include a lump sum of money you are seeking to resolve your claims and why that amount is fair. Once you send that demand to the insurance company, the negotiation process will begin.
2. Have Confidence In Your Case
It is important to have confidence in your case, especially if there is no lawyer involved. Be sure you know the facts about the case, including when it occurred, where it occurred, and why the other driver is at-fault. Also, you must be able to articulate to the adjuster the types of injuries you suffered. The confidence you have in your case and why you think it’s worth the number of dollars you are asking for will come through in your talks with the adjuster.
3. Do Not Accept The First Offer
An insurance adjuster will almost never just accept the amount in your demand. Instead, they will provide a counteroffer. And usually, the amount of the counteroffer is low. This fact does not necessarily mean the insurance company is not willing to offer you a higher amount to settle your claim. Rather, you should think of the insurance company’s first offer as a starting point for negotiations. You may go back and forth with the adjuster several times before you reach a number that you can both agree upon. Please see below for a tip on how to respond to a low counteroffer.
4. Have The Insurance Company Explain The Reasons For Their Offer
When the insurance adjuster responds to your demand letter, you should make them explain their reasons for the low offer, ideally in writing. For example, do they think your injuries are not related to the accident? Do they think your injuries are pre-existing conditions? Do they think you are partly at-fault for the wreck? What percentage of responsibility do they put on your in causing the accident, and why? You should take careful notes about these reasons, so you can respond to each of them. Be very careful when discussing your claim with the insurance adjuster. They are often taking careful notes of your conversation with them and will use anything you say against you, if they can.
5. Have A Number In Mind, But Never Tell The Adjuster That Number
Before you start negotiating with the insurance adjuster, you should have a number in mind that you would be willing to accept to resolve your case. However, you never want to tell the adjuster “your bottom line.” If the adjuster knows how much you will settle the case for, they will be unwilling to offer any money above that number (even if they have authority to do so). You would not want to settle your case for less money than it is worth to you because you gave the adjuster too much information.
Negotiating with an insurance company regarding a car wreck settlement is tedious and difficult. The process requires skills and experience that the lawyers at our Firm have developed over years of experience and thousands of cases. If you have been injured in a car wreck that was not your fault, our Firm can help you through the entire process of dealing with that at-fault party’s insurance company from the date of the accident to the ultimate resolution of the case. Please call us, day or night, for a free consultation regarding your car wreck. We are here to help you.