When the settlement negotiation starts, you need an effective strategy to help you get the best injury claims. The following tips will come in handy:
When writing your settlement demand letter, you must have figured out what your claim is worth. Before talking to your adjuster about the demand, figure out the minimum amount that you are willing to accept.
Once figures start going back and forth, it will help to have the lower figure in mind. This way, you will not have to make a snap decision when the adjuster calls with a take-it-or-leave-it offer. If someone else points out facts that make your claim weaker, you should be willing to revise your settlement downward.
Insurance adjusters have to start negotiations by offering the lowest settlements. For this reason, you should not jump on the first offer made. If you are impatient to get your hands on the money, you may end up taking any offer – even if it is a bad offer. If the first offer is reasonable, you can make a counteroffer that is slightly below your demand letter amount. This shows the adjuster that you are reasonable and willing to compromise.
In the first negotiation, the adjuster will make a low offer to see whether you know what your claim is actually worth. You should not lower the amount you wrote in your demand letter immediately. Instead, you should ask why the offer is so low.
Take notes during the conversation and write a short letter responding to all the factors mentioned. If you see that the adjuster’s reasons are strong, you can lower your demand slightly, but wait to see whether he/she will budge after receiving the reply. At your next meeting, ask the adjuster for a response to your letter.
He/she should now make a reasonable offer, which you will accept or bargain with in order to arrive at the final settlement.
As you negotiate, you should point out any emotional points that support your claim. For example, if you have sent the adjuster a photo of your leg – which was severely injured – refer to it. If your injury has affected your ability to care for your children, make sure you bring it up.
Even though emotional points do not have a monetary value, they play an important role in getting the insurance company to settle on injury claims.
You should not reduce your offer more than twice until you get a new offer from the adjuster. If he/she comes up with more reasons for giving you a low offer, go over them and come up with arguments.
If you feel that the negotiations are not going your way, you need to get in touch with a lawyer. You need the services of an attorney whenever there is a question of fault or when seeking future damages.
Are you looking for an injury claims attorney in Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, or Liberal? Call Brad Pistotnik Law at 316-684-4400. You can also reach Brad on his personal cell – 316-706-5020. You can also call Tony Atterbury at 316-617-9237. We handle cases in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas and in many other states. We are lawyers that care about people and when you hire us you will know we really care. Every client gets the personal cell phone of the attorney. Almost no lawyers give out their personal cell phones because they do not want to be bothered in off hours. We answer the phone as long as we are awake, seven days a week, 365 days a year and we do evening and weekend appointments.
Brad Pistotnik Law, P.A.
10111 East 21st St
Wichita, KS 67206