The moment settlement negotiations start following your personal injury lawsuit, you and your personal inury attorney need to be ready with a working strategy to get the best deal. Here are some tips that will help you land the best personal injury settlement.
Set a Specific Amount
When writing your settlement demand letter, estimate the amount of money you believe the claim is worth. Of course, this might not be very accurate, but before your discussion with an insurance adjuster, set the minimum amount you can accept from the settlement. Keep the amount in your mind, don’t reveal it to anyone, even the adjuster. This is important because the set amount will help you get the basic amount you can work with. You also don’t have to stick to that amount during negotiations, aim for even higher. There are some factors, however, that could leave you with no choice but adjust the amount. For instance, when the adjuster reveals some points you had not considered that make your claim weaker, you’ll have to lower the minimum amount you set earlier. Similarly, if the adjuster points out some factors you had not considered that make your claim stronger, set the minimum higher.
Mention Emotional Points
During the negotiations, it is recommended that you mention emotional points that support your claim. When your car was run over for instance, use a strong photo of your smashed car or deep injuries to emphasize your claim. If the other driver was believed to be drunk and there was a bottle of alcohol found in their car, use it. This will make your claim stronger. You can also use a personal injury attorney when necessary.
Don’t Go for the First Offer
Normally, insurance companies always start negotiations through offering extremely low settlement amounts. This is a way they use to try and discover whether you know the value of your claim and how patient you are. When they make such an offer, you should be sharp enough to know whether it is reasonably low or just a tactic they are using to test you. If they table a reasonable offer but still low, come up with a counter offer that is somehow lower than the amount you wrote in the demand letter. This will make the adjuster realize that you are a reasonable person who is willing to compromise. Argue your points out and in no time, both parties will be able to agree on an amount that’s fair to all.
Let the Adjuster Justify Low Offers
Assuming that the adjuster made an offer so low that you felt it was just to test you, never immediately lower your amount beyond what you wrote in the demand letter. Ask the adjuster to explain why they offered the low amount instead. As he or she explains, make a few notes and later write another letter responding to the points mentioned by the adjuster. Depending on how strong the points are, you can slightly lower your demand amount after you are certain that the adjuster won’t change his stand.