You Can Negotiate a Settlement. Here’s How
Most personal injury settlements are negotiated with insurance companies. If you’ve been involved in a car or other accident, you can seek compensation for financial losses and pain and suffering. Negotiating a settlement is difficult, however, and few insurance companies make generous offers without some serious prodding.
How Do Lawyers Negotiate Settlements?
When it comes to personal injury cases, negotiating a fair settlement is crucial for obtaining the compensation you deserve. At Naqvi, our experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyers are well-versed in the art of settlement negotiation. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to negotiate a settlement effectively, ensuring you receive adequate financial compensation for your losses and pain and suffering.
At Naqvi, our experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyers have obtained favorable settlements for many of our clients. We know how to negotiate a settlement with an insurance adjuster and share some of our best secrets below.
Hold Onto Everything
Settlement negotiations are based on evidence—evidence about who was at fault as well as evidence about the severity of your injuries. You can help your case by buying a giant folder and storing all relevant documents in it:
- Copy of police report
- Letters and emails exchanged with insurance companies
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Prescription drug receipts
- Car repair estimates or bills
- Photographs of the accident
It is very easy to lose this evidence, and tracking it down is a pain. True, your attorney can obtain information for you, but that takes time. Keeping this evidence organized and readily accessible will strengthen your position during negotiations.
Open an Insurance Claim in a Timely Manner
Contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver promptly to open a claim. If needed, your own insurer can assist with this process. When reporting the accident, provide only basic information, such as the date, time, and location, without providing a detailed statement. Timely reporting is crucial as any delay may raise suspicions and impact your claim’s credibility. Waiting two or three weeks before reporting an accident is suspicious, and insurance companies might conclude you are exaggerating (or even inventing) your injuries.
Estimate the Value of Your Claim Carefully
Before entering into negotiations, it’s vital to have a clear understanding of the value of your injuries and losses. In Nevada, you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost income or wages, and repairs to your vehicle and other damaged property. Calculate the full amount of your medical costs, even if your health insurer covered most of it. Additionally, consider future medical care and diminished earning capacity for long-lasting injuries. To estimate intangible losses like pain and suffering, it’s advisable to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help determine a reasonable amount based on your circumstances. Working with an experienced Las Vegas accident lawyer is a big advantage because we have a rough idea of how much to request for pain and suffering. Generally, you can get 1 to 5 times the amount of your financial losses.
Write an Effective Demand Letter
A demand letter is your opportunity to present your side of the story and outline the impact of the accident on your life. Keep the letter concise, factual, and well-written. Provide details about your injuries, including the number of medical visits and any surgeries. Finally, specify the compensation amount you are seeking, which should be slightly higher than your estimated claim value to allow room for negotiation.
Reject the Insurer’s First Offer
Insurance companies often begin with low settlement offers, so it’s essential to reject the initial offer. Remember that negotiation is a back-and-forth process, and you should aim for a settlement that truly compensates you for your losses. Usually, meeting somewhere in the middle is a reasonable outcome.
Highlight Facts that Benefit You
If you reject the insurer’s offer, you need to give them a reason why. If you don’t, then they’ll think you are just being difficult or lack sophistication. You establish credibility by explaining why the offer was too low.
Remember to emphasize all the facts that work in your favor:
- Fault is clear. Witnesses might all agree the other driver is to blame, or the driver could have admitted as much. If fault isn’t in dispute, the insurer knows they’ll lose if they go to trial.
- Your medical bills are growing. Someone with serious injuries should emphasize that they will need future care.
- Your pain and suffering are intense. Back up your claims by identifying witnesses who can explain how the injuries have made life more difficult. Provide vivid detail, such as the inability to lift your grandchild or go for romantic walks with your spouse.
Remain Calm During Negotiations
Projecting confidence is the key to getting the settlement you want. Don’t become upset or annoyed. If you do, you’ll lose credibility with the other side and could make some mistakes that costs you. Although it might be difficult to think this way, you need to view this as a business transaction. It’s not personal.
Hire a Lawyer to Help
You do not have to negotiate a settlement all on your own. A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can sweep in and help clients with any of the following:
- Properly valuing a claim, including compensation for future medical expenses, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering
- Collecting evidence to show the severity of your injuries
- Negotiating with an insurance adjuster for maximum compensation
- Identifying other parties that share fault for the accident
- Filing a lawsuit if negotiations stall
At Naqvi, we put decades of combined experience to work for our personal injury clients. Remember, once you agree to a settlement, you’ll be signing a release of liability. This means you can’t ask the defendant to give you more compensation later— even if your medical condition takes a turn for the worse. There is a lot riding on negotiating an effective settlement. In our experience, insurance adjusters will take a victim more seriously once they know a lawyer is representing them.
Contact Naqvi for a Free Case Evaluation
Receiving a fair settlement is hard work. Many injured victims would prefer to focus on rehabbing their injuries instead of writing letters and haggling with an insurance adjuster for compensation. Hire the best personal injury lawyer you can find to be your voice in the negotiation process.
The legal team at Naqvi knows how to negotiate with the insurance adjusters. Call us today to speak with an attorney.