If involved in a car accident due to someone else’s fault, you are entitled to compensation for the injuries and damages by filing a personal injury claim against their insurance company. But the truth is, arriving at a settlement amount with an insurance company can be a daunting process full of investigations and negotiations. When negotiating with an insurance adjuster, remember that their goal is to pay as little as possible to save more for the insurance company.
They pay little or no attention to your interests and only focus on the company’s bottom line. Many propose a settlement amount to keep the case from going to court. So what do you do when an insurance adjuster suggests a settlement offer for the claim?
Consult an attorney
The best thing you can do after an accident is to seek legal guidance, which is where personal injury attorneys come in. They can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, effectively present your version of events and advise you on the best way forward.
A personal injury attorney with excellent negotiation skills can intimidate the insurance company and get them to offer you fair compensation. They can help you reach a settlement that fully accounts for your injuries and damages from the accident. While many insurance companies have experienced lawyers, having yours who can go toe to toe with them is best.
Do not take the first offer.
It is never advisable to take the first offer an insurance adjuster proposes, no matter how significant it may seem. Arriving at a settlement amount takes a lot of negotiation. Like any other case, your insurance adjuster will not initially come in with the highest offer no matter what they tell you. It is best if you have a minimum figure in your mind that you are willing to take but do not accept any less, especially if you have sufficient evidence to prove liability.
Ask the adjuster to justify the offer.
The goal of insurance companies is to pay as little settlement amounts as they can to save more. If an insurance adjuster offers a settlement, ask them to explain why they arrived at that amount. You can evaluate their reasons and respond to their justifications by explaining why you deserve more. This is helpful, especially if the adjuster’s justifications are not very strong.
Take your time
It is advisable to take your time, especially if the offer seems too good to be true. In most personal injury cases, if the insurance adjuster contacts you quickly and offers a settlement amount immediately, your claim is worth more. They are probably offering a band-aid solution to your situation when it needs stitches to address it. At this point, you can tell them you wish to finish treatment to see the extent of your medical costs before accepting a settlement.
It is advisable to seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offer or signing anything the insurance company proposes.