Over the years, insurance companies have learned how to put pressure on a policy holder that hopes to obtain a fair compensation for his or her injuries. By the same token, lawyers have learned how to apply a bit of pressure to any insurer. Fortunately, some of the tricks used by lawyers can become part of a policy holder’s strategy during the negotiating process.
Strategies to use as the negotiations proceed:
Policy holder should have in mind the minimum value of an acceptable settlement. Still, that minimum figure should not be shared with anyone from the defendant’s insurance company. Yet it can be changed. It makes sense to increase that minimum figure, if evidence seems to strengthen the existing case. Lower that figure, if facts seem to cast some doubt on the strength of the presented claim.
Beware of taking the first offer. Generally, adjusters introduce a unrealistic and low figure in that first offer. Adjusters want to see if the policy holder has identified an acceptable lower limit for the figure at which he or she will agree to settle. Ask an adjuster to justify a surprisingly low offer. Take notes of the conversation during which that exceedingly low figure was mentioned. Use those notes when composing a letter, one in which you ask for justification of that low-ball offer.
Emphasize the emotional aspects of your argument. There are varied ways to highlight such aspects. For instance, you could include some pictures of your damaged vehicle in the demand letter. If the driver has any children, you could mention how the driver’s injuries have affected those same children. Most of the personal injury lawyers in Waterloo advice that you should not lower your demand more than once, before receiving any new offers from your adjuster.
Strategies to use if you see little or no progress in the negotiations:
Do not hesitate to hire a lawyer. A lawyer’s help can prove invaluable, if the driver or any passengers sustained some serious injuries.
In addition, an attorney can assist a policy holder that plans to highlight the accident’s impact on the driver’s or any passenger’s future.
If the defendant’s insurance company has suggested that the plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident, a lawyer should definitely be consulted.
Strategy to employ once both sides have agreed on a settlement figure:
Get all of the settlement’s details in writing. Request written confirmation of the fact that the other side has accepted the figure that was mentioned at the close of the negotiations. Understand that following an adjuster’s mention of an initial offer, an insurance company will not hesitate to deny in writing the fact that the same company has agreed to provide the plaintiff with that same sum of money.