In some legal situations, you may need to deal with insurance adjusters. These situations may include: personal injury cases, car accidents, or medical malpractice cases. Before a settlement for compensation is reached, you must submit a demand letter that states your side of the claim, as well as your requested settlement amount.
Along with your demand letter, be sure to include all of the proper supporting documents. Once you do this, negotiation begins.
The Negotiation Process
The beginning of the negotiation process will usually involve an initial telephone conversation with an insurance adjuster. At this point, the insurance adjuster will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. Once the insurance adjuster makes a few points about your claim, you will receive a settlement offer lower than the amount you stated in your demand letter. At this point, you will respond with a higher amount but lower than the amount in your demand letter.
When you wrote your demand letter, you should have determined the value of your injury. This includes everything from medical bills, wages lost, damaged property, loss of educational experiences, missed vacations, etc. All of these losses were the result of your injury, therefore they should be included in the value you put on your injury in your initial demand letter.
When negotiating with the insurance adjuster, be sure that you stand firm with everything that you initially included in your demand letter; do not discredit anything if the adjuster tries to devalue your losses. Keep a minimum settlement amount in mind before settling with the adjuster. However, do not share this amount with the adjuster.
If the adjuster gives you an offer that seems unreasonably low, request an explanation for the low amount. In some instances, it is possible that the adjuster brings up a few facts that you did not consider. Write down each of the reasons the adjuster gives you and respond with a letter addressing each reason. It is possible that you did not include enough information in your initial letter, which lead to the adjuster coming up with a lower value than you did. If you respond with a second letter addressing the concerns of the adjuster, it is possible that the adjuster will consider your new letter and come to a more agreeable settlement.
The negotiation process is all about sharing as much information with the insurance adjuster as possible. Share all of the information related to your injury, all the losses you suffered, including emotional suffering. According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, one-third of individuals who are injured in a car accident suffer from anxiety and depression. Also be sure to mention the emotional pain your family suffered as a result of your injury. For instance, if your injury prevented you from caring for your children how you normally do, communicate to the adjuster that your children suffered as well. Including emotional points may help the negotiation process move along to a settlement.
Once a settlement is reached, get it in writing. Write down the settlement amount immediately and date it. Send the letter to the adjuster and have them confirm that this was the amount agreed on.
Contact Legal Help
If you have any questions regarding your personal injury claim, contact Bighorn Law. The attorneys at Bighorn Law are experienced with personal injury litigation, as well as dealing with insurance adjusters.