If you have been hurt in a car accident, chances are that the other driver’s insurance company is going to be in regular contact with you. They want to be sure that you are getting the medical attention that you need, but they also want to be sure that it won’t cost them a penny more than it has to.
Insurance adjusters do this type of thing every day, so as someone who likely has not been in this type of situation before, the insurance company can take advantage of you. Don’t let that happen by using the following negotiation tips.
Start With A Goal Number In Mind
You need to determine what your case is worth before you can start the negotiation process. This is much easier said than done.
You should sit down and figure out how much your injury has cost you so far. Consider the following potential damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost time from work
- Property damage
- Travel expenses for attending medical appointments
Then, think about what your lost time off work and medical expenses in the future might be. Have your doctors told you that you will ongoing or additional treatment? How will your injury affect your job going forward? Be sure to factor that in.
Tally Up The “Intangibles”
The emotional toll that your injuries have taken on you and your family is going to be important to your case. Your story is your most valuable tool should your case go before a jury, and your insurance adjuster knows that. Play up these aspects of your case, even if they might be less than flattering.
List out the intangible ways that your injury has affected you before you start negotiating. Are you still able to do all of your hobbies or activities that you did prior to the accident? Has your family life changed? Has your role around the house changed? How has your injury affected your spouse or your children? You will want to mention all of these things to the insurance adjuster.
Don’t Jump At The First Offer
Even if the insurance company offers you exactly what you thought your case was worth, do not take the first offer given to you. If it is spot on, that may mean that you have some additional costs that you did not consider, and the insurance company thinks your case is worth more than you thought.
Ask The Adjuster To Justify Their Offer
If the adjuster gives you a low number, ask why they think that is what your case is worth. That way, they will be forced to point out potential weaknesses in your case. If they stammer or object, then you know that you have a relatively strong case.
Get An Attorney
Insurance adjusters do not try to take advantage of attorneys the same way that they might with a victim. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side after you have been hurt in a car accident is an invaluable resource.
An attorney’s experience can also help you determine how much your case is really worth and what kind of settlement number you can realistically expect—not to mention that the attorney does the negotiation so you do not have to spend time and effort doing it yourself. Contact Jim Glaser Law to have your case reviewed for free.