Being involved in an auto accident is never a good thing. But once it has happened, it’s only right that you should get paid compensation, especially if you have been injured.
Getting that compensation, however, isn’t easy. The following advice is designed to help you maximise the chances you’ll be paid just compensation.
Have A Settlement Amount You Would Accept In Mind
Going into a negotiation with your adjuster blind is not a good idea. Rather, you should have a figure in mind of how much compensation you think you are owed. Having a figure in mind helps you avoid making snap decisions about whether to accept a settlement or not. So long as it meets your lower bound for what you will accept, it might be worth taking.
Remember, you don’t have to stick with your original value. It could be that the adjuster provides you with new information that reduces the settlement you can expect. The adjuster, therefore, might revise down your claim. In this case, you may want to look for evidence that makes your claim stronger, so that you can, again, revise your claim upwards.
Don’t Just Settle For The First Offer
It’s standard practice for the insurance industry to go in low when they first make you an offer. Rarely is this a serious play. Rather, it’s designed to find out whether you have any idea what your claim is worth, or whether you’d just rather take the money now.
Sometimes, though, the offer made by the insurer won’t just be tactical. It will be a genuine offer, but a little lower than what you had expressed in your letter. Here you should show the adjuster that you are willing to negotiate too. Put in a counter offer, above the offer made by the insurer, but below your original offer.
Get An Attorney
Sometimes, claims go to plan, and you get the compensation you deserve. But more often than not, they don’t go to plan. This where a trained auto accident lawyer can prove helpful.
People usually take on a lawyer when their claim runs into several thousand dollars. Often, adjusters don’t recognise the severity of the situation of the accident victim. And as a result, don’t accept claims that run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Accident lawyers are particularly useful when you want to claim for future damages too, like lost income or medical expenses.
Finally, in situations where there is a question hanging over who was at fault, lawyers may be necessary. Lawyers will be able to craft arguments in your favour, increasing the chance that any settlement will be in your favour.
Get The Settlement In Writing
When the adjuster gives you a settlement you want, make sure to get the agreement quickly in writing. This is easy to do. All you have to do is send a letter to the adjuster, confirming the amount of the settlement in writing. There is then a legal record of the settlement value, and the insurance company cannot then backtrack on its original agreement.