If you have been involved in an accident where the driver of the other vehicle was responsible, you will be entitled to compensation which will help to cover medical expenses and repairs to damaged property.
An insurance adjuster is an individual responsible for investigating the claim accounting for injury and property damage. After doing so, the adjuster will then arrive at an amount that they consider appropriate.
During the process of investigating the claim, the adjuster will account for medical expenses by analyzing hospital records. They will often interview the claimant and individuals who witnessed the collision as well as conducting their own inspections of the property.
Arriving at an amount that all parties are happy with can be a long process and one that involves a lot of negotiating. It is important to remember that insurance companies want to avoid paying out large sums to the claimant when possible and this will often be reflected in the amount that you are offered.
Below, we have detailed the most appropriate ways of negotiating a settlement offer with a claims adjuster. By following these methods you will likely be compensated with the amount that you are entitled to.
Hire the help of a law professional/attorney
Hiring an attorney will ensure that your case is presented with all the supporting evidence that is needed. Attempting to negotiate with an insurance claims adjuster without one can be extremely difficult.
Their knowledge in this field means that they can negotiate with the adjuster to ensure that you are offered a fair amount.
It is also likely that the adjuster will take the case more seriously if they are dealing with an attorney because they don't have as much leeway to pressure them into accepting an offer that is too low.
Ensure that you have plenty of evidence to support your claim
The more evidence that you can provide the adjuster with, the better. It is helpful to keep track of all of the hospital appointments that you have attended due to injuries that you sustained in the accident.
Also, keep hold of any documents that show evidence of the financial cost of the accident such as medical treatment bills, etc. Sufficient evidence places you in a stronger position for receiving the amount that you are entitled to.
Have an amount in mind that you would be willing to accept
When in the process of composing a demand letter, it is helpful to have an amount in mind that you feel your claim is worth. Doing so will also prove helpful to you in the negotiation process because you can base any future offers on this figure.
You should not disclose this amount to the adjuster but instead, keep it for your own personal reference. Following initial communication with the adjuster, you may find that this figure changes. It isn't recommended that you begin with an overly high figure but a reasonable amount.
Inform the Adjuster of the Emotional Impact of the accident
Often the impact of an accident extends much beyond the physical injuries, leaving many dealing with the emotional trauma for some time afterward.
When negotiating with the adjuster it is worth informing them of the distress that you have endured since the accident so long as you have evidence to support this. If you have received medical help for your mental health provide the adjuster with documentation to show this.
Ask any questions that you have regarding their offer
It is often the case that insurance companies offer a lower settlement offer. If this is the case, it is worth addressing any concerns that you have with the adjuster asking them to explain the factors that influenced the arrival at that amount.
It may be a case that your claim lacks the evidence and documentation that they require to justify offering a higher amount. Knowledge of said issues will provide you with an understanding of how your claim is being dealt with and how you can change this with your counteroffer.
Refrain from accepting the first offer
Do not feel pressured to accept the first offer. Often adjusters will offer a low amount as a tactical ploy to assess whether you know what you are doing, or it could well be that the offer proposes a reasonable amount but it isn't as much as you feel you deserve. If so, your attorney can advise you on a suitable counteroffer that you can put forward to the adjuster.
It is at this point that you or your attorney will negotiate the most with the adjuster. Remember that the adjuster isn't going to offer you the highest amount straight away and you will likely need to compromise on the amount that you were expecting and the amount that you receive. Your attorney can inform you as to whether they feel the eventual offer is fair and worth accepting.
Respond to the offer in writing
When you have agreed on an amount with the insurance adjuster of which your attorney thinks is a fair offering, you should then confirm your agreement in writing. This doesn't need to be an overly complex response but rather one that contains the important details of the claim such as the agreed amount, the injuries and damages that are being compensated for, etc.
If you have hired the help of an attorney they will likely provide you with guidance as to what should be included. Having your confirmation in writing ensures that the adjuster cannot backtrack on the claim and deny the agreed amount.
If you have been injured in an accident you are entitled to receive compensation to cover the costs of damage and injury. Some adjusters will employ certain tactics when it comes to negotiating the offer which can make the task of settling on the appropriate amount much more difficult. It is helpful to hire an attorney who can apply their professional knowledge to the case to ensure that you receive a fair amount.
While you and the adjuster may begin the process with differing views regarding the amount that you deserve, eventually as negotiations proceed you will arrive at the same amount, even if it is a rather lengthy process.