Accidents or negligence happens all of the time. Whether it's a personal injury claim, car accident, medical malpractice, or another situation like this, you are going to want to negotiate with the insurance company to get as much compensation for the accident.
If you have presented an organized demand letter and the proper documents to the insurance company, the process of negotiating will probably just be a few phones calls with an insurance claim adjuster.
This blog post will discuss how negotiations usually work. There will also be some suggestions to help you succeed during the process.
The first thing that will happen is a phone call between you and the adjuster. You will each make points about the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. The adjuster will make an initial offer to settle the claim. This amount will definitely be for less than you demanded. You will then counter with an amount that is more than what they offered but is usually less than what you were initially demanding. Usually, after a few phone calls, you will come to a settlement that is somewhere in the middle.
Do not be alarmed or intimidated if you receive a "reservation of rights" letter. This letter will inform you that the company is investigating your claim. It also states that if the accident is not covered under policy, then they reserve the right to pay you. This letter is just protecting the insurance company. According to NOLO it is, "preventing you from claiming that the company's insurance policy covers your accident just because it began settlement negotiations with you."
If you are putting together a demand letter, you should have a certain amount in mind of what you believe your claim is worth. You will also want to find out a minimum figure that you would accept. Have this number in mind, but do not reveal it to the adjuster. You may want to revise this number depending on what your adjuster offers.
You definitely do not want to jump at the first offer. The first offer is always usually low. It is used as a tactic to see if you know what you are doing. It may also be reasonable, but too low. You can then counteroffer. Your counteroffer could then show that you are being reasonable as well. A little bargaining will get you to a settlement.
If the adjuster makes an offer that is extremely low, and you know that you claim is worth more, you will want to ask the adjuster to justify this offer. Ask for the specific reasons why the offer is so low. Make note of what this person tells you. You will then want to write a brief letter responding to the points that he or she initially made. You can lower your offer, but you should probably see how the adjuster responds after they receive your reply.
When you are negotiating, you should emphasize the strongest points in your favor rather than going over the facts again and again. You may want to mention how this has affected you emotionally. If your injury has interfered with different aspects of your life, you will want to mention those.
When you and the adjuster finally reach an agreement, you will want to put this into a letter to the adjuster.
If you need advice from an expert lawyer, do not hesitate to give Palacios Law Group a call.