The Settlement Negotiation Process

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The insurance adjuster can be an intimidating individual.  They represent large insurance companies.  The claims adjusters overall job is to get you to sign a full release of all your claims for as little money as they can get you to accept.  The adjusters have many strategies for accomplishing that.  The best way they can get you to accept less money is to search out and find as many weaknesses in your case as they can.  The best way the insurance company does this is by offering it to you quickly.  The insurance company knows that most claimants will not be represented by an attorney right after an accident.  It is a prime opportunity to convince the victim to sign a release, or at least to sign forms turning over medical records and give statements about the facts of the accident and their injuries.

Learn How Adjusters Settle Claims

Once you have presented your documents to the adjuster, they are bound to have questions.  When the negotiations begin, the insurance adjuster may try to bully you.  They will talk about how long they have been in the business and how many settlements they have dealt with.  They will compare your accident damages and injuries to others they have negotiated.  Do not back down and keep your wits about you.  Remember, they are just trying to do their job and to the insurance adjuster, this is not personal to them.  However, it is extremely personal to you and your interests.

Insurance companies like to settle early because the general damages for pain and suffering are always minimal in the first few weeks following an accident.

Step by Step Process

When an insurance company is notified of an accident, the first step they take is to set up a claim file and assign a claim number to that file.  Following that, they assign a claims adjuster to your case.  The adjuster is responsible for monitoring the claim and has substantial authority in making a settlement on both the property damage and the bodily injury part of the claim.  In auto accident cases, some insurance companies may have one adjuster to handle the bodily injury claim and another to handle the property damage claim.  Most injury claims are not settled until all medical treatment has been completed.  Some of the things you will need to take in consideration when filing your own personal injury claim include:

  • Whose Fault Is It?
  • Getting A Claim Started
  • Understanding Insurance Coverage
  • How Much Is Your Claim Worth?
  • Processing Your Claim
  • Property Damage Claim
  • Negotiating A Settlement
  • Finalizing Your Settlement
  • Hiring An Attorney
  • When To Seek Arbitration
  • What to do when you can’t settle

The most common complaint made in relation to personal injury claims is that even the most straightforward cases take a long time before a mutually agreeable settlement is reached.  Everyone wants to settle claims at the earliest opportunity, but very often, there are reasons why they can’t be settled.

If the offer from the insurance company is unsatisfactory, you can make a counter-offer and try to negotiate a settlement without using an attorney.  If they don’t cooperate or accept responsibility, it may be time to seek legal counsel to represent you in your case.

Previous Page: Filing Your Personal Injury Claim | Next: Knowing When to Accept the Settlement Offer


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