When you have a personal injury claim, whether you were involved in a car accident or on the receiving end of a medical malpractice, after submitting a demand letter to the insurance company, it is time to negotiate.
If you have handed over a well-prepared demand letter along with the proper supporting files and documents needed to an insurance company, the negotiation process of your claim will most likely consist of no more than some phone calls with an insurance adjuster.
This article will briefly explain how claim negotiations usually work. It will also provide you with several suggestions to aid you in succeeding in the different stages of the process.
Negotiation Process: How it Works
During your first call with the adjuster, both of you will each establish your points regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your personal injury claim. The adjuster will then offer you to make a claim settlement for a figure that is lower than what you asked for in your demand letter. You will counteract with an amount that is higher than the offer of the adjuster but lower compared to the amount you initially stated. Usually, after about two or three phone calls, you will have an agreement on a settlement amount somewhere in between.
Negotiation Process: What to Do?
Have a Settlement Figure in Mind
As a part of the preparation of your demand letter, you should have already determined what you think your personal injury claim is worth. Within this range, you should make a decision about a minimum settlement amount that you will accept before speaking to an insurance adjuster about your demand letter. This amount is for your own personal information so that you can bear your bottom line in mind when you are under the pressures of the negotiation process. This information of yours should not be revealed to the insurance adjuster.
However, you do not have to hold on to that amount that you have set for yourself. If an insurance adjuster indicates some details that you did not consider but that evidently makes your claim weaker, you might have to lower your amount a bit. In addition, if the adjuster begins to offer you a settlement similar or almost the same as your minimum, you might want to change your amount upward.
Do not Jump on the First Offer
When the adjuster makes you a first offer, do not immediately jump at it as it may be so low that it is merely a scheme to check if you understand what you are doing. Or, it might be a reasonable offer but it is too low.
If the first offer is reasonable enough, you can counteract immediately that is a bit lower compared to the figure in your demand letter. This will show the insurance adjuster that you are also being reasonable and are eager to cooperate. A bit more negotiating should get you to a settlement figure that you both think is reasonable and fair.
Get the Insurance Adjuster to justify a Low Offer
If an insurance adjuster makes you a first offer that is so low that it is clearly a mere negotiating scheme to check if you really know what your claim is worth, do not lower the figure you stated in your demand letter immediately. You should instead ask the adjuster to provide you exact reasons why the offer is low. Take down notes of what he/she tells you. You should then write a short letter answering to each of the reasons the adjuster has said.
Personal Injury Lawyer in California
To fully understand all the matters concerning the settlement of your personal injury claim with insurance companies, it is best to seek legal assistance from a competent lawyer.
Our knowledgeable St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer handles personal injury claim settlement with insurance companies. Log on to our website and dial our toll-free number to consult with our team of experts.