Following a car accident, you may go through days, weeks or months of recovery time. You may accumulate a lot of medical bills, and you may be out of work during recovery. There may come a time when you must negotiate with the insurance company. Here, you will learn a little about how to get the best settlement during negotiations.
When to Begin Negotiations
Negotiations should begin as soon as you are physically able, and when you have obtained the documents needed to proceed. At this point, send a letter of demand to the insurance company. This will cause the insurance company to begin the settlement negotiations.
Note: Sending a letter of demand to the insurance company before you have the police reports, medical statements, witness statements, pictures and any other evidence that can prove your case can cost you the case before it even begins. You have to be prepared to back up and prove your case the minute you send the letter out.
How Much to Ask For
The amount that you request from the insurance company depends on the strength of your claim and the extent of the damages suffered. If you can easily prove negligence, the claim amount will be higher than if you are going to have a difficult time proving that negligence caused the accident.
In general, ask for a higher amount than what you expect to be awarded. During negotiations, the insurer will work to reduce the payout amount. If you start at exactly what you expect, you will be negotiated well below that amount before the negotiations are complete.
How Long to Negotiate
Negotiations can go on for a very long time. As long as fair agreement is not made, the negotiations can continue. Extending this time could be the adjuster's tactic to try to get you to accept a lower settlement by wearing you out or making it impossible for you to wait any longer for your payment.
Work with a Lawyer
The absolute best way to avoid getting low-balled at the negotiation table is by working with a skilled and experienced accident lawyer. He or she has been through this process multiple times and knows how to deal with insurance adjusters or the legal representation for the insurance company.
Although you will have to pay the lawyer, the settlement amount could be substantially higher than what you could negotiate on your own, so it will pay off in the long run. A higher payout and not having to handle the negotiations are two great reasons to hire a professional to handle this situation for you.
For more information, you can go to websites of local accident lawyers.