If you were in an automobile accident that was caused by another party, it is important to get the best settlement that you can. With the help of an automobile accident lawyer, you may receive the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Below are some of the ways that you can ensure you get the best settlement in your car accident claim.
First, it is vital to have a settlement number in mind. Before you talk to the adjuster about your claim, you want to have a minimum number in mind. This number is just for your own information and is not something you tell the insurance company. But before you start the negotiation process, it always helps to have a bottom-line figure in mind.
Remember that you do not need to stick to the figure that you set. If the insurance company points things out that make your claim worth less, you may need to lower your bottom-line number. And if the insurance company starts with a very low settlement offer, you may want to increase your bottom-line figure.
Second, you should not jump at the first settlement offer the insurance company throws out. It is SOP for insurance companies to start with a low settlement offer to see if you will bite. They want to see if you know what your car accident claim is worth. If you don’t, they are happy to give you pennies on the dollar.
If the offer is reasonable, you can make a counteroffer that is a bit lower than what you demanded. While you should never accept the first offer, be ready to negotiate in good faith with the adjuster. If you demand too much, they will refuse to settle and you could be in for the long haul as a lawsuit goes forward.
Third, if the insurance company has a low offer, ask them to give you the reasons. Write down notes from the conversation. Then you or your attorney should write a brief letter to respond to the reasons they gave you a low settlement offer. Depending on how strong they are, you can lower your demand a bit. But wait to see if the insurance company will increase the offer before you go lower.
Fourth, stress any emotional points on your side. For example, if you sent the company a good photo of a serious injury, talk about it during negotiations. If you have a picture of bottle of beer in the other driver’s car and alcohol was a factor, mention it. Also, it is wise to write a daily journal about how the injury affected your life. You should share that with the insurance company and use it to justify a higher settlement amount.
These simple tips will help you to get a better settlement with the insurance company. But remember, if you have serious injuries that involve weeks or months of treatment and recovery, you will be better off working with the best auto accident lawyer than handling the case on your own.