Every person has the legal right to claim compensation for losses and injuries following a slip and fall accident through the legal system. Normally, there is an insurance policy in place from which to recover damages.
A personal injury settlement entails an agreement between the individual or organization liable for the damages and you, the injured party. A settlement amount may be agreed to in exchange for an agreement that you will not file a lawsuit. This is generally negotiated between the insurance provider and the personal injury attorney. A settlement at this phase is usually advantageous to the injured party since they won’t need to wait to resolve the case in court, which can drag the case on for years.
Below are some steps to make in order to arrive at the best settlement agreement with the other party:
Consider a specific settlement amount
In the construction of a settlement demand letter, it’s important to determine the value of your claim. Make up your mind in terms of a minimum settlement figure you will accept before discussing a dollar amount with an insurance adjuster. You do not have to stick to the figure you have originally set. If the insurance adjuster has pointed out some facts that you had not considered and it has made your claim weaker, you might need to adjust the minimum figure you have set.
Refuse to accept the first offer
It is one of the standard practices of insurance adjusters to make an initial offer smaller than the claim is worth. When a first offer is made, your answer should be dependent on whether the offer is reasonable but on the low side or completely out of the ballpark. Learn to negotiate in order to arrive at a final settlement amount that is fair for both parties. Put emphasis on the strongest points in your favor, such as the fact that the insured is at complete fault and you have endured months of painful recovery that has affected your daily life.
Allow the adjuster to make a low offer
If during the first conversation, the adjuster makes a very low offer, then it may be a negotiating strategy for them to see whether you understand the worth of your claim. Never accept an offer lower than the amount indicated in your demand letter. Rather, you need to ask your insurance adjuster to provide you with reasons for the low offer. Jot down some points in your conversation, then construct a short but concise letter as a response to the factors that the insurance adjuster has discussed with you. Your answers will depend on the strength of the reasons that the adjuster has made. If they have made reasonable points, your demand can be lowered and the negotiating can continue.
Learn to wait for a response
Never lower your demand more than once until the adjuster has presented a new offer to you. Be patient as you wait for them to come back with a new offer. Once they do, review the adjuster’s reasons for their new offer to determine if it’s reasonable.
Engage with a personal injury attorney
If you think that negotiations are not going well, consider discussing your claim with personal injury lawyers like DLG Injury Attorneys, specifically for conditions such as the following:
- Cases where compensation has been requested due to serious injuries and pain above a few thousand dollars.
- Cases where there is a question of who is at fault for the accident so the lawyer can effectively construct your argument.
- Future damages are being sought. If you are asking to recover damages for future lost wages or ongoing medical treatment, then you will need a lawyer to handle the settlement.
It is important for you to have a complete understanding of how to get the best settlement. In terms of understanding your own claim, hiring a personal injury lawyer is strongly advised so you can get help through the process and ensure that you receive a fair settlement.