Following an auto accident, most people file a claim to cover the costs of their injuries and damages. In ideal cases, the insurance company would agree instantly to the amount you have claimed, but very often, insurance companies will offer a lower claim. They would deny a part of it, or deny the claim and would offer much less than you deserve.
This may be nerve wracking, especially if you’re filing the claim on your own. Many people eventually accept the lower offer and don’t know they can negotiate. But, even if they do, negotiating with the insurance company is a skill that not everyone has. This is why it’s important to have a good lawyer. If you were involved in an accident in New Mexico, get legal help from a car accident attorney.
You Don’t Have To Accept The Settlement
If the settlement offer is low, you don’t have to accept it. It’s smart to discuss the offer with your attorney. They would help you realize if it’s a smart thing to accept the settlement or not.
In most cases, a car accident victim will want to accept a settlement so they can receive the money as soon as possible. Once you agree with the offer, you’re losing the right to negotiate and make further claims. Be very careful what you’ll decide. This is why negotiating is important.
Starting the negotiating process with an insurance company can be stressful. Insurance adjusters negotiate every day (it’s their job) and many car accident victims don’t know how this is done. We advise you to avoid doing this by yourself.
Schedule Your Settlement Negotiations
Once you got all the treatment and your injuries are healing, it’s time to move forward. Seek a settlement to compensate for your expenses. Take some time to prepare your claim so you can have a good position in case you’ll have to negotiate. Collect the evidence that will support your claim (medical bills and records, police reports, photos, notes, statements from accident witnesses, etc.).
Once you’ve collected the evidence, you can go forward with your claim.
Begin With a High Amount
Insurance negotiations are similar to auctions, except you should start by asking a high amount. This is because the insurance company would most definitely lower it (so you’d want to have at least something when they decide to cut parts of the claim).
Not every injured victim will face a low offer. The insurance adjuster may accept your claim. But, if they don’t the negotiations will go back and forth a few times, before you get a reasonable amount.
Stay patient and don’t give up, even though the process may be challenging.
However, staying dedicated and not giving up doesn’t mean that the insurance company will make some drastic differences in their final offer. Feel free to ask the adjuster if they will ever be able to offer a higher settlement. You can even ask them to speak to a manager for potential authorization to go higher. If the authorization is rejected, maybe you can take that as a sign. Notice other clues that may show that they might increase the offer. They may say that they can’t give you a higher offer at the moment. Saying “at the moment” is a good indication, that they may offer you a higher settlement after a few rounds of negotiations.
When you think they give you the final offer, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll accept it or will seek other means of compensation.
If the amount is close to what you asked for, you should feel free to accept the offer. If the amount is lower than, be careful with your decisions and see your options. You may file a personal injury claim in a civil court. If you think you may get a much higher amount by going to court, you should dedicate your time and energy to that. If you think that pursuing a legal claim will not lead to a much higher settlement, then maybe you should accept the offer from the insurance company.
This maybe sounds confusing and scary, especially after you have to spend large amounts of money to cover your medical expenses. Lost wages, damages, and other expenses you had after the injure may affect your budget drastically. If you don’t know what to do, be sure you talk to an experienced attorney.
Ask any question and our team at FBD Law will give you thorough answers.