When you’re in the process of seeking compensation for the injuries you suffered following a motor vehicle accident, you are entering into an extended negotiation process with the insurance company. You will be dealing with an insurance adjuster whose job is to settle claims for as little cost to the insurance company as possible. Here are a few important tips to help you ensure that the settlement you receive is fair.
- Know when to hire a lawyer
Before you start settlement negotiations, consider the nature of your case and determine whether the help from a lawyer would be valuable to you. Some cases benefit from a personal injury lawyer’s involvement when they are brought in early in the process. Learn more about hiring a lawyer here.
- Know your bottom line
When you are calculating the value of your claim, choose an amount at the lower end of the range that will still cover all your needs, and make that the minimum offer you will accept. If negotiating is not one of your strengths, you should let an experienced lawyer take care of that for you.
- Don’t jump at the initial offer
Insurance adjusters will often offer an unreasonably low starting figure to start. Determine whether the starting offer your adjuster made is actually within a reasonable range, or simply a negotiation tactic. If it’s reasonable, make a counter-offer slightly lower than your initial demand. If not, ask the adjuster to justify his offer. Take note of the points he makes, and prepare your response that addresses each of those reasons. Wait for him to reply to your denial and see if he changes his offer.
- Get any agreement in writing
If the insurance adjuster makes you an offer that you find acceptable and that you want to agree on, write a letter confirming the agreement. Put any verbal agreement in writing, so you’ll have proof of the offer you agreed to.
- Be patient
This can be difficult when your injuries are keeping you out of work and you have medical bills to pay, but you should proceed patiently. Before making another reply, wait for a counter-offer. Address all of the insurance adjuster’s arguments and objections and see if a reasonable figure is coming your way. If not, you may want to consider hiring an experienced lawyer.
If you have any questions or concerns about settling your insurance claim, feel free toContact Us at 1-800-606-2529. We have offices in Moncton, Saint John, Halifax and Charlottetown.