All too often, when someone is injured in an accident, the initial settlement offer they receive from their insurance carrier won’t cover all the costs. In fact, it may not even cover the damage to their vehicle or other property.
If you’ve been in this situation before, you know how discouraging it can be. Insurance companies want to cut their costs, but you want to pay your bills. You also want the whole thing to be over and done with. How can you keep the cycle of paperwork from consuming your life?
Tips for successful negotiation
- Document everything. You may not be suing your insurance carrier, but you should treat an insurance claim with the same diligence that you would a lawsuit. Gather and keep evidence of injuries, damage to your vehicle or other personal property, and any expenses resulting from the accident. Make copies.
- Calculate your damages. Depending on the nature of the incident, you may be able to claim lost wages, pain and suffering, or other costs beyond medical bills and property damage. Be honest, accurate, and realistic.
- Aim high, but be willing to compromise. You may want $10,000, but if $9000 will cover most of the damages, consider what the extra $1000 is really worth to you. Of course, you shouldn’t name the lower price at the outset, or you could end up with even less.
- Keep your cool. When talking to your insurance company, be firm but polite. Don’t raise your voice, don’t have a breakdown over the phone, and don’t say anything that you might regret later.
It’s possible to negotiate with insurance companies. It can take a lot of time and energy, and you may decide that you need an attorney to help you, but it can be done. Many people have received a settlement larger than the one initially offered, because they were willing to fight for it.
No matter where you are in the negotiation process, we can help. An experienced legal counselor can help you get the settlement you deserve. Contact us today!