After you file a personal injury claim and submit a demand letter to an insurance company, it is time to negotiate. When you present an organized demand letter and proper documents, then the process will begin with a few phone calls with an insurance claims adjuster. Below are the steps in various stages of the negotiation process.
During the first call with the adjuster, you will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. Typically they will make an offer lower than what you requested and you will counter with one higher than the adjuster’s but lower than the original amount you requested. After a few phone calls you will agree on a settlement figure somewhere in the middle.
If you have a settlement amount in mind, it will help the process be more efficient. Decide on a minimum settlement figure you will accept and keep it in mind while negotiating. Do not reveal this number to the adjuster. If the adjuster points out facts that you didn’t originally consider that could make your claim weaker, you may have to lower that figure a bit.
The insurance adjuster will give you a low offer at first and sometimes it is to see if you know what you are doing. If it seems reasonable, you should still counteroffer something lower than your demand letter amount. Showing the adjuster you are willing to compromise will help you reach the right settlement amount.
If the insurance adjuster makes a very low first offer, clearly looking to negotiate, you can ask for reasons why the offer is so low. Take note on what they tell you and write a brief letter responding to the factors the adjuster mentioned. See if they make another more reasonable offer once ther read your reply.
Emphasize emotional points during your negotiation. The adjuster will already have all the facts, so using emotional points to support your claim can put more value on your settlement. Putting a dollar value on emotional factors is tough, but it can be powerful in getting an insurance company to settle your claim.
Once an agreement is reached, confirm it in writing with a letter to the adjuster. The letter doesn’t need to be long but just stating the amount you settled, what injuries or damages it cover and the date which you expect to receive the documents from the insurance company.