Car accidents can happen out of the blue. One minute you’re driving, the next you hear tires screech, and suddenly you’re in the middle of a wreck. Your heart is racing, and your ears are ringing as you try to figure out what just happened.
At this instant, you’ll be checking to make sure you’re OK. But it’s quickly going to be time to deal with your insurance company, and you don’t want to suffer another blow, especially one that hits your finances. Your recovery could depend on how well you negotiate with the insurance adjuster, and getting a fair settlement is extremely important to cover damages, medical bills, and other inevitable costs.
What Is An Insurance Adjuster?
Insurance adjusters investigate claims on behalf of the insurer. They will interview the claimant, witnesses, police, and medical personnel and inspect damaged property.
The main thing you need to remember about insurance adjusters is that they work for the insurance company, not for you. Their job is to move the process through quickly. Their managers judge their performance on their ability to keep claim payouts low.
To do this, they will ask leading questions and use the answers against you later to undermine your claim. It is not fair and designed to work against the claimant. Before engaging with an adjuster, you need to be prepared and know how to stand your ground.
The best thing you can do is hire an experienced car wreck attorney to represent you. You should always be careful talking to an insurance company after an accident. They will be using anything you say against you later. There are some key points you should remember when negotiating with a claims adjuster.
Tips For Negotiating With An Insurance Adjuster
If you’re not an experienced negotiator, it can be very daunting trying to get a settlement deal from an insurance company. However, regardless of whether you have an attorney to represent you, there are some basic steps you can take to get yourself to the other side with what you want.
1 – Start With A Settlement Amount in Mind
The first step in the process is to present the insurance company with a demand letter for the amount you want, along with supporting documents. The next step is to meet with an insurance adjuster, who will assess your claim and then likely return with a lower figure than what you have claimed. When you send your demand letter, you need to have a figure in mind. When you negotiate, this will be the bottom line that you won’t go below.
2 – Don’t Take the First Offer
One of the oldest tricks in negotiation is to start with an extremely low offer. The insurance adjuster you deal with is likely an experienced professional negotiator who will test your mettle with a low offer. They’ll be looking to test how well you know your claim and doing everything they can to keep the payout as low as possible. When you get their first low ball offer, reject it, and come back with a counteroffer. This should be lower than the amount in your demand letter but higher than their offer.
3 – Make Sure You Tell Them About The Emotional Damage
If you suffer any emotional damage resulting from the accident, it will most likely affect your earning ability. Settlements take emotional trauma into account across most areas, and you deserve to be compensated for all of your injuries, physical and mental. Any fair agreement will need to recognize all your suffering to get the treatment you need. An insurance adjuster will have to include this.
4 – Get The Final Settlement In Writing
Once you have reached an acceptable settlement, it is essential that you get it in writing. An attorney can confirm the agreement for you by drafting a letter to the insurance adjuster. The letter should include the settlement amount, the injuries and damages it covers, and the date you will receive the documents.
Should I Settle Or Sue?
If you’re involved in an accident, most times, there will be an insurance policy in place to cover your damages. Generally, insurance companies would prefer to avoid the cost of a court case and settle in exchange for you agreeing not to sue.
Coming to a compromise means you avoid the chance of a jury giving you little or nothing and means you will receive a payment in a much shorter time. However, keep in mind you will have to meet the insurer halfway. They will have to pay more than they would like to, but you will also receive less than you would aim for in court.
How to Fight An Insurance Company On a Totaled Car And Get What You Deserve?
Adjusters rely on people not knowing enough about the claims process to protect their rights. They will use this to their advantage to create a situation such as insurance not paying enough for a totaled car.
The best way for you to protect yourself in this situation is to use an experienced car wreck injury lawyer. An attorney who knows all the ins and outs of the process will ensure that adjusters can’t push you around after an accident or injury.
Victims who engage a skilled lawyer, such as Dennis and King, are more likely to win a settlement that covers all their areas of need. The insurer will have to compensate you for things like lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage. Book a free strategy session with us today to find out how we can help you.