A personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation for the injuries or damages you have suffered following an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. But these cases can be complicated, and you need to have a strategy to negotiate your claim when things get heated. Here are some tips for you.
Figure out a range of what you believe your claim is worth
Before you negotiate anything with the insurance adjuster, have a specific settlement amount in mind that you believe your claim is worth. However, this amount is for your own information and not something you should reveal to the insurance adjuster. It ensures you have a bottom line in mind before the offers and counteroffers come in. You can also revise the figure upwards if you think you have stronger evidence to reinforce your claim.
Do not accept the first offer.
Insurance adjusters are very smart and will start negotiating with you by offering a low settlement amount. After all, they want to save the insurance company the most money. They use the tactic to gauge whether you know the worth of your claim or not and your patience. If the offer is reasonable, try to make a counteroffer that is slightly lower than the amount you set in mind.
That tells the insurance adjuster you are reasonable and willing to settle the case. More negotiations should quickly get to a final settlement amount that is fair. Remember to emphasize the strongest points of your claim, such as the insured was entirely at fault.
Let the insurance adjuster justify a low settlement offer.
It is wise to ask the insurance adjuster to tell you or explain why they have made such a low settlement offer. Depending on the solidity of the adjuster’s reasons, you can slightly lower the settlement amount you asked for in your demand letter. For instance, they may reason that you don’t have strong evidence to support the claim. With such a tactic, you can gauge whether the insurance adjuster will shift before you make a counteroffer.
Mention the emotional points in your favor
When negotiating with an insurance adjuster, emphasize emotional points in your favor. For instance, refer to photos of your damaged car, your injuries, and so forth. If a beer bottle was found in the negligent party’s car, refer to the possibility of drunk driving, which led to the accident. If the injury has reduced your capability to care for your child, mention how your child is suffering. Such points can help get an insurance company to settle the claim reasonably.
Know when to engage a personal injury attorney
If you feel that the negotiations are not going as you wished for or the insurance adjuster is overwhelming you, it is best to engage a Chicago personal injury attorney. It is even more valuable to hire a lawyer if:
- You suffered severe injuries.
- You seek current and future damages.
- There is a question of who was at fault.
- Your case is complicated.
Ideally, you should not settle for a settlement offer the insurance company has offered before discussing it with your personal injury attorney.