After an accident, even if your injuries are medically treated and documented while the responsibility of the defendant is clear, you will need to negotiate with the adjusters. Irrespective of how much you need the money as damages, the insurance company will not pay quickly but will try to lowball you into accepting a much lower amount that what you are eligible for. You’ll haggle when you negotiate a settlement for a personal injury accident. A typical negotiation consists of the following steps:
• You send a demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company asking for a high amount
• The insurer finds evidence to refute the claims in your demand letter
• You send another demand letter in response
• The insurer will make a low counteroffer to see if you’ll take it
• You send another demand letter with a slightly lower settlement amount
• The insurance company increases the settlement amount
• You accept the settlement or the process continues until you accept a settlement amount.
When do Settlement Negotiations Begin?
You’ll start the negotiations process soon after the adjuster gets your demand letter.
Don’t let the reservation of rights letter bother you. You’ll get a letter stating that the insurance company will only pay for damages that the policy covers. It protects the insurance company from you suing it for more money in the future.
What if You get no Response from the Insurance Company?
Wait a while and call the adjuster. He or she will eventually respond back. You can always call the supervisor if that doesn’t happen. Most insurance company are dealing with thousands of claims every day so oftentimes, it can take time.
The adjuster usually makes a low offer to make it a negotiating tactic to know what your claim is worth. You should not reduce the amount that you have mentioned in the demand letter. Ask the insurance adjuster why he/she has given a low offer. Allow your lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. If the deal is fair, your lawyer will negotiate and agree after talking it out with you. If you are looking to submit the settlement letter to the at-fault party or their insurance company, there will be negotiations about the claim’s value till an agreement is signed.
If the liability of the defendant has been established, the insurance company will agree faster for a quick settlement. In case, there is no agreement on the fair value of the settlement, then the case goes to the courtroom and your lawyers will litigate on your behalf. That is why it helps to work with an experienced legal firm or personal injury lawyer in Watsonville.