After you file a car accident claim with your insurance company, you’ll hear from an insurance adjuster. While you will undoubtedly want to seek full compensation for your injuries and vehicular damages, the adjuster can make this a difficult process. If you’re unhappy with your initial settlement offer, negotiations are an option. Consider these tips before settling.
1) Understand Your Car Insurance Company and Policy
Before you make your first phone call, make sure you’ve got all your documentation prepared. You’ll want to have the police report, photos and other evidence collected at the accident scene, a list of property damage and expenses for repairs, all medical bills and expenses related to the car accident, and any notes on your pain, daily limitations, and medical consultations.
Keep in mind that auto insurance companies will want to offer you as low a settlement as possible. Large corporations, especially, often try to save money by paying you the minimum.
You’ll want to review your policy and make sure you understand what you’re entitled to. Also, it never hurts to do research on how similar situations have worked out for others.
2) Remember the Adjuster Works for Your Insurance Company, Not You
When you speak with an insurance adjuster, it’s never just a friendly chat. Their job is to minimize the amount of money you receive. They may try to do this by saying they are unable to compensate you because you were partially or fully at fault, the value you are seeking is not justified, or your documentation is inadequate. You will need to negotiate with the adjuster and insurance company, so you don’t end up with the lowest offer.
3) Recognize Your Words Impact Your Settlement Offer
When you receive a phone call from an insurance adjuster, they already have a decent understanding of the accident and your claim. With this understanding, they have the potential to frame what happened in a way that favors their employer. Be aware of loaded questions. Avoid embellishing, estimating, and supposing. Remain as neutral as possible and avoid giving statements while on medication.
4) Consider Seeking Legal Advice if You Can’t Come to an Agreement
Insurance adjusters can be tough negotiators. If you’re trying to focus on your recovery, dealing with them can be overwhelming and confusing. Avoid talking yourself out of what you deserve and considering seeking legal advice.
If you do choose to seek professional legal help, our Charleston, WV car accidents lawyers are here for you. We’ll help you negotiate with your insurance company and obtain damages above the typical settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation.