Have you ever wondered how a personal injury settlement is negotiated?
Coming to a fair personal injury settlement with the insurance company involves expert negotiation. Of course, the amount of money and stakes are higher in a personal injury claim, but it all comes down to an effective negotiation process, and an expert level knowledge of the law.
In any type of negotiation, there are three types of information. The first is the rough value of the product. The second is the minimum amount the seller will take. The third is the maximum amount the buyer will pay.
Personal Injury Settlement Negotiation
During a personal injury settlement negotiation, your attorney usually is the ‘seller’ in this ‘transaction.’ The insurance adjuster is the ‘buyer’. Your injuries are the ‘product.’
Each party in the negotiation only knows two of those three pieces of information. Your attorney knows the approximate value of your claim. The adjuster knows an estimated value of your damages, as well as the highest amount the insurance company will pay before it takes the risk of going to trial.
Your attorney and the claims adjuster are missing important information. The negotiation process involves each side testing each other to see how little you are willing to take, and how much you can convince the insurance company to give.
This negotiation process can occur over a few telephone calls. In other cases, the process can involve weeks or months of calls, letters and in person negotiations.
Negotiations for a personal injury settlement usually start right after the insurance adjuster receives the initial demand from your attorney. Often, your attorney will get a call from the adjuster in a week or two after the demand letter is received. If you have not been contacted after two weeks, your attorney may call the insurance company and get a firm date on when a response will happen.
Regardless of how this negotiation process plays out, the insurance company is obligated by law to look at your claim fairly and negotiate with you or your attorney accordingly.
Note that most insurance companies give their adjusters more cases than they can handle on a timely basis. Sometimes only the most serious injury cases, or the ones about to go to trial, are evaluated quickly. This is a complex process, and is why it usually is best to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to handle the negotiations. A good attorney knows the games that insurance companies play.
Also, most insurance companies know that personal injury victims are generally inexperienced with the claims settlement process. They will try to take advantage of your lack of experience in claims negotiations and offer you as little as possible.
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If you have been in an accident and have a personal injury claim, we can help to settle your personal injury claim. It is important to work with a personal injury attorney instead of facing the insurance company on your own. Please contact our law offices today for a no-obligation consultation regarding your personal injury claim.