Where you recently involved in an auto accident? Once you submit a well-crafted demand letter to the insurance service provider, it’s time for negotiations. If your demand letter is well-organized with all the supporting paperwork, the entire negotiation process may probably consist of a few phone calls from the insurance claim adjusters.
How the claim negotiation process works
The process begins with a call from the insurance claims adjuster. During this initial call, both you and the adjuster will make your points about various strengths and weaknesses of your personal injury claim. The insurance claim adjuster will make an initial offer to settle your claim. In most cases, this offer is usually lower than the amount you included in your demand letter. If you are not comfortable with the offer, you are supposed to counter with a higher amount. Remember, this process should be handled by an experienced Cleveland auto accident lawyer.
Have a precise settlement amount in mind
While crafting your demand letter, it’s good to have a specific amount that you believe your claim is worth. Before you speak to the insurance adjuster about your demand, it’s advisable to determine the minimum amount you are going to accept. Keep this bottom line in your mind even when you are under the pressures of negotiating – don’t reveal this to the adjuster.
However, don’t be too rigid. If the insurance claim adjuster points out facts you had not thought of and can make your claim weaker, you may want to lower your set amount. In case the adjuster begins with an offer close to your minimum amount, you can revise your desired amount upwards.
Avoid jumpstarting at an initial offer
The initial offer made by the adjuster may be low, and this is a tactic used to find if you already know what you are doing or understands the value of your claim. Sometimes, the initial offer can be reasonable but lower than the value indicated in your demand letter. If you are convinced that the offer is reasonable, you can make a counteroffer that’s slightly lower than the demanded amount. That shows that you are also being reasonable and probably willing to compromise.
Get justification for the low offer
If you realize that the adjuster made a low offer as a negotiation tactic to find out whether or not you understand the real value of your claim, don’t lower your demand amount. Ask the adjuster to offer a detailed justification of why the claim is too low. Note the reasons given and write a letter responding to each of the issues mentioned by the adjuster.
Put the settlement in writing
Once you and the adjuster finally agree on the value of your claim, immediately confirm this agreement in a letter to the insurance company adjuster. This is simply a short letter indicating the amount you agreed, the damages or injuries it covers, and when you should expect to get the settlement documents.
Note that the personal injury claim negotiation process is a challenging task. However, with the help from a professional personal injury attorney, you can get a fair settlement.