‘How will I be able to pay my hospital bills?’ ‘Will I be able to work again?’ ‘How will I make up for the wages I lost while I’m away?’ These are some of the questions people who have been injured in an accident often ask.
If you’ve been hurt in a mishap recently, regardless of whose fault it is, know that you have the right to be compensated for the damages that cost you. These include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, etc. This is called a personal injury claim.
If you’re making a claim after an accident, you have to negotiate with your and the at-fault party’s insurance companies sooner or later. However, dealing with insurance adjusters isn’t easy unless they voluntarily pay your claims. But that’s not always the case.
Usually, insurance companies will do everything to reduce your claims to a minimum, which you want to avoid at all costs. Of course, you want to receive the amount you deserve as much as possible. But how will you do that?
Here are the things to keep in mind when negotiating with insurance providers to get the most out of your personal injury claims:
- Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer
Negotiating with insurance companies can be daunting and overwhelming, especially when they use legal terms you might not know. With their intimidating talking skills, it’s only a matter of time before you jump at their first offer, which will most likely be in their favor.
To avoid such circumstances and to ensure fair compensation, Florida personal injury lawyers and others in your area may help. They will be the ones to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring you receive a fair settlement.
In addition, personal injury lawyers can represent you in court should the need arise. This is most likely to happen when insurance companies continue to reject the amount of compensation you deserve.
Of course, you can represent yourself in court, but should you do so? Doing so may decrease your chances of winning fair and just compensation. So, it’s your best option to hire a lawyer to take care of everything so you can focus on your recovery.
- Have An Amount In Mind
When you create a demand letter, make sure to determine the amount you believe your compensation should be. Include all the factors, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
Once you’ve established a specific range, determine the minimum compensation value you can accept. It’s best to keep this a secret from the adjuster as much as possible to ensure that it won’t affect their judgment. They might offer you a higher settlement than your minimum if they know nothing about it.
Nevertheless, you can’t hold on to the value you set for yourself for so long. If an insurance adjuster discusses some facts that you haven’t considered in the first place, your compensation may have to be reduced a bit. And if an insurance adjuster offers you a figure near your minimum, consider increasing your value a bit.
- Don’t Take The Initial Offer
When insurance adjusters make an initial settlement offer, it might be too low. That’s one of the strategies they often use to find out if you know what you’re doing. But it might be a sensible settlement, just too low.
You should negotiate with the insurance adjuster by presenting a well-organized demand letter and supporting documentation, asking them to justify their lowball offer, and highlighting emotional reasons for your claim. You should also be patient and negotiate in good faith, but do not accept an offer that is lower than what you deserve.
- Watch Out For Improper Tactics Insurance Companies Use
Most insurance adjusters follow an ethical approach when it comes to their profession. Yet, it’s important to understand that there will be some who are willing to break some rules. Below are improper negotiating tactics insurance adjusters might use against you to deny or minimize your compensation—and how to respond to one.
- ‘You Should Settle With The Other Party’
Insurance adjusters might ask you to settle the issue with the other party, especially if they’re more at fault than you. Politely remind them that you have the right to proceed against both parties until someone is willing to be the primary carrier.
- ‘You’re Already Late’
Sometimes, the insurance adjuster will convince you to give up or accept a lowball settlement offer. Why? Because they think there’s a delay between your accident and the insurance claiming process.
However, keep in mind that filing a liability claim with an insurance company has no time limit and mustn’t be compared with the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit in court, not a liability claim.
If you’re planning to file a claim with your own insurance, make sure to understand the deadline included in your policy. However, an insurance company can’t deny a claim unless they provide evidence showing that a delay has affected its ability to make necessary investigations.
Whether or not there’s a deadline for filing an insurance claim, it’d be best to do it as soon as possible to make the process flow smoothly.
When you respond to these improper tactics, do it politely until both of you reach a fair settlement offer. Picking a fight with an insurance company can lead you nowhere and prolong the process.
- Ask The Adjuster To Explain Their Low Offer
If an insurance adjuster makes an initial offer low enough to be considered a negotiating tactic, don’t lower your value right away. This is in connection with the previous suggestion about not accepting the initial offer. Ask them professionally why they have come to this kind of settlement and take note of what they tell you. Then, write a letter in response to the factors they have mentioned.
Depending on how the adjuster justifies their offer, you can reduce your demand a bit. But before you do so, wait to see if they will budge after reading your response. At this point, both of you will be able to negotiate and arrive at a fair figure.
A personal injury claim will help cover your medical expenses, lost wages, emotional suffering, and more. However, negotiating with insurance companies may not be as easy as you think. Some cases end up in court because both parties can’t arrive at a figure they can both agree with. But there are ways to do so. The tips above may help you haggle with adjusters to reach a fair settlement offer.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.