When you are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, you are generally entitled to some sort of compensation from that person’s insurance company if you file a personal injury claim.
However, arriving at a settlement with an insurance agency can be a long and complex process full of investigations and negotiations conducted by an insurance adjuster for the company. One thing you always have to keep in mind when working with an insurance adjuster to arrive at a settlement figure is that the adjuster ALWAYS wants to pay you as little as he or she possibly can.
Insurance agencies are businesses that are focused only on their bottom line, and they pay little mind to the emotional side of your injury. Their goal is almost always to get you to agree to the lowest possible settlement while staying out of court.
In this blog, we have detailed six useful tips to help you ensure that you receive the best possible settlement offer from an insurance adjuster, so that you can collect the compensation for your injuries that you are rightfully entitled to.
Hire an attorney
The most important thing you can do to ensure you receive a fair settlement offer from an insurance company is hire an attorney who will help you effectively present your version of events, can negotiate on your behalf, and will advise you on the best course of action throughout the process. Hiring an attorney will also help ensure that the adjuster takes your claim more seriously.
Provide your attorney with extensive documentation and evidence
The more evidence your attorney is able to present to the insurance adjuster with regard to your injuries and the costs of treating those injuries—including losses due to an ability to work as well as pain and suffering damages—the stronger your case for a high settlement offer will be. Keep detailed records of all hospital visits, financial costs, and any other evidence that could possibly demonstrate a lowered quality of life.
Seek care for emotional distress
If you are seeking insurance settlement compensation for emotional distress, you need to have quantifiable proof of your emotional distress. Just as you should seek medical treatment for any physical injuries, you should also seek medical treatment for mental injuries as well. Accidents can be traumatizing, and you deserve to be both treated and compensated for the mental distress you were caused.
Do not take the first offer
Barring contrary advice from your attorney that is specific to your circumstances, you should never accept the first offer from the insurance adjustor. The settlement determination is a negotiation, and as with any negotiation, the adjuster is not going to come in at the highest offer he or she is willing to give, no matter what they may tell you. Have a minimum figure in your head you are willing to accept, and do not accept any less.
Make the adjuster justify the offer
Insurance companies will commonly low-ball you with their settlement offer because, as we previously mentioned, their goal is to pay you as little as possible. If the adjuster offers you an unreasonable settlement, ask them to explain exactly how they chose that figure, and what factors played into their decision. You can then respond to each justification and explain why you deserve more than what is being offered, particularly if the justifications are not very strong.
Confirm accepted offer in writing
Once you and your attorney decide that the figure is high enough to accept the insurance adjuster’s offer, you should confirm the details and your acceptance of the offer in writing so that the insurance company cannot falsely claim that they made no such offer in the future and refuse to pay.
If you have been injured in an accident, you deserve justice and you are entitled to fair compensation. Do not allow an insurance company to take advantage of you or give you a settlement that is a penny less than you rightfully deserve. Inkelaar Law will fight to protect your rights and your best interests throughout the insurance settlement negotiation process. Please give us a call today.