We like to think that our insurance company is “on our side” and is looking out for our best interest when we have been injured. This is not usually the case, however. Your insurance company cannot make a profit if it routinely pays out more in compensation than it takes in through premium payments. That is why your claims adjuster – the individual assigned to evaluate your claim and issue a check to compensate you for your loss – will attempt to settle your claim for as little money as possible. In some cases, the amount you receive may not cover all of your bills and other expenses.
In some cases, you can negotiate a higher settlement for your claim. Using these tips may increase your chances of obtaining a larger settlement:
- Come prepared with a settlement offer in mind: Your adjuster will likely make the first settlement offer, but this does not mean you should not have a number in mind as well. Take time to tally up your bills, expenses, and losses and be prepared to counter the adjuster’s offer with one of your own. Identifying a fair compensation amount and being able to justify this amount will help during the negotiations.
- Time is your friend: Your insurance claims adjuster will want to settle your claim quickly. If you are able to hold out and reject the first few offers from your insurance claims adjuster, you may be able to convince him or her to pay a higher amount for your claim.
- Emphasize emotional aspects of your injury: Your claims adjuster’s settlement offer will likely be based on a computer calculation or standardized program that compares the facts of your case to other similar cases and issues a correspondingly similar settlement amount. But you are an individual, and your injury impacts you in a unique way. Emotional points about your situation and injury – how long you have been with the insurance company as a customer, the pain and suffering you endured as a result of the injury, activities you are no longer able to do – can be emphasized to justify a higher amount.
- Get any settlement offer in writing: Once you and your claims adjuster agree on a settlement amount, get that amount and any other conditions in writing. An insurance company may try to avoid paying you a higher settlement amount – even if you agreed to it with the claims adjuster – if there is no objective proof that the agreement existed.
Of course, if you have been injured in a personal injury incident, negotiating with a professional claims adjuster yourself may not be the best way to maximize your recovery. Attorney David R. Price, Jr. is here to help. He has experience negotiating with claims adjusters on behalf of his clients and working to get them the most compensation possible so they can focus on their recovery and getting their lives back in order. Learn what he can do for you by calling (864) 271-2636 or contacting him online and scheduling your free initial consultation today.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.