If you are wondering what a personal injury claim will look like, then you need to understand how personal injury settlements work. Many cases never make it to trial, but end quicker in a negotiated settlement.
At this point in your case, you and your attorney are aware of what your case is worth, and how big a settlement has to be if you are going to accept it. The insurance adjuster likewise knows the worth of your case, and also how much of these damages they are willing to offer you. So why do you have to negotiate? The adjuster wants to see how low of a settlement you will accept, while you want to see how high they would be willing to go. Here is an example of how a negotiation could proceed:
- Your demand letter asks for a high settlement amount.
- The adjuster replies with mistakes they found in your case, such as issues of who is liable, that certain medical treatments were not needed.
- You (ideally with an attorney’s counsel) answer the objections.
- The adjuster sends you a low settlement offer; he or she wants to see if you just want to get the case over with by accepting a significantly lower settlement.
- You send a reply that decreases your original demands, taking into consideration a bit of the adjuster’s issues with your claim.
- The adjuster bumps up their previous offer.
- You could accept this offer, or you could send another reply.
The body of evidence that you have on your side, whether or not you are on a time crunch, and what you want in the settlement, will all affect your claim negotiation. After you send in your demand letter, an insurance adjuster will probably start negotiating a week or so after they get the letter.
Did You Get a “Reservation of Rights” Letter?
Insurance companies send these letters out almost first thing in an injury case. This letter simply covers their legal bases by telling you that your case is being considered and investigated, but that they do not have to pay you compensation if your claim is not eligible for coverage under your policy. This does not mean that your case is ineligible.
It simply makes sure you do not say your accident is covered because the company started negotiations with you. They want to make sure you do not think this, and they would be delighted if the letter daunted you, making you willing to accept a fast and significantly reduced settlement.
If an insurance adjuster continually offers you low-ball settlements, if you believe that your claim has been wrongfully denied, or if you need a legal professional’s help to deal with an insurance company, you can find the legal advocate you need at the Whitley Law Firm. Learn how one of our Raleigh personal injury lawyers can assist you when you contact us or fill out a free case review today!