How Does Negotiation Work In An Injury Case?

You’ll need to do some negotiating in an injury case. You and the defense will do some ‘haggling’ similar to the negotiating you would do at a yard sale. Ideally, you’ll both agree on a settlement amount.

You know the settlement amount you’re comfortable with, and so does the defendant. The insurance adjuster knows how much money the insurer wants to pay. You don’t know the amount the defendant is comfortable with paying, and the defendant doesn’t know how much you want to receive. So, the negotiation process continues.

Here’s how the process starts:

You send the defendant’s insurer a demand letter where you ask for a high amount
The adjuster lowers the amount and justifies it by telling you what is wrong with your claim. For example, the adjuster may argue that your physical therapy sessions are too long, expensive, and unnecessary.

Whatever you do, don’t accept the first offer from the insurance company. If it seems to be ridiculously low, there’s a reason. The insurance adjuster is trying to ‘lowball’ you to see how eager you are to end the case and how desperate you are for an immediate settlement. Remember that you can’t ask the defendant for more money after you accept the settlement, even if you genuinely need the money in the future.

Your injury lawyer in Brockville will respond with a letter that justifies your side of the story and asks for a slightly lesser amount. The adjuster responds with a letter and a slightly higher settlement amount. The process continues until you reach an agreement on a settlement amount.

You need to follow basic etiquette during the negotiation process. Doing so will simplify the entire process and make it easier for you to get the settlement you want, need, and deserve!

Organization matters – document the details of every conversation you have with the insurance adjuster. If you or the adjuster have committed to certain actions by a particular date, send a letter to the adjuster verifying that. Remember that the faster you act, the better. You must keep a hard copy of your documented conversations and letters.

Patience is of the essence – you’re more likely to get a bigger settlement faster if you wait it out and don’t accept the first settlement offer. Waiting will also keep you from being lowballed.

Remember the tortoise – the tortoise won the race because he was persistent. Similarly, persistence matters when you’re negotiating for a good settlement amount. If the adjuster promises to send you a check, ask him or her to commit to a certain date in writing. Being persistent doesn’t mean calling the adjuster daily; it means regularly following through until the adjuster keeps his or her promise.

Stay calm and be honest – don’t fight with the adjuster even if he or she doesn’t have the greatest personality in the world. Remember that the person is overworked, and learn to have empathy. Handle every situation calmly and always be honest.

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