When you have been injured in an accident, it is an incredibly stressful time. When you are not sure of the next best steps for you, that can make it even more challenging. There are some steps you can take to protect yourself and make sure all your needs are met when it comes to an insurance settlement due to an accident. Here are some steps you can take when you are negotiating with an insurance company.
One important note for you to keep in mind is that if you have filed a lawsuit, it may be settled out of court. This means you may still need to negotiate your settlement and you should always be prepared to do so.
You want to initiate your claim as soon as possible after your accident. You do not want to take a long time before you make the decision to start a claim. It may take a few days or a week before your injuries are completely known, but it is important that you move quickly on your claim. You do not want to allow any questions about your injuries that may be caused by a delay in initiating your claim. You will need to provide a demand letter to the insurance company. If you provide as much information as possible in the demand letter, the negotiation may only require a few conversations.
You want to make sure you have an accurate record of all the details of your accident. You should write down your account of the accident as soon as you can after it happens. You do not want to allow some of the details to become fuzzy. You want to find out if there are any video recordings of your accident. If there are, make sure you get a copy of it. You want to make sure you get any witness accounts, signed and in writing, of any people who witnessed the accident. If you have any witness testimony of how the accident has limited you as a result of the injuries that you sustained, you should get that as well. Make sure that you obtain all of your own medical records.
You should make sure you have a fair settlement amount in mind. You should know how much you think your insurance claim is worth. There are resources available to help you understand how insurance companies determine settlement amounts. You also need to know the lowest amount that you are willing to accept. If you have that amount in mind, you are better able to negotiate for yourself. You should keep this information to yourself, for your own use. You do not want to share it with an adjuster or your lawyer. Even when you have this amount in mind, you still want to be open to what your adjuster or lawyer tells you. They may point out items of which you were unaware or did not consider that reduces that dollar amount.
The first offer you receive from the insurance adjuster may be low, as they are attempting to see what you are willing to accept. You should also ask the adjuster why they are offering you a lower amount. Take notes about the adjuster’s statements so you are able to respond to them. You should make a reasonable counter offer. You want to make sure you make the counter offer in writing and address all of the factors that the adjuster suggested when offering you a lower settlement amount. Any time you talk to the adjuster, you should ask for a response to your written request.
When you are in negotiations about the settlement, you do not need to reiterate all of the facts. You should, however, focus on the facts that have the most weight. A good point to reference is that the accident was fully at the fault of the insured. You should highlight your pain and suffering as a result of the accident, as well as the medical bills you had to pay. You should also mention the permanent or long term effects on you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
At any point, you can contact cwalawfirm.com for legal assistance for your accident claim.