Injured in an Accident? 5 Tips for Negotiating with the Insurance Company

If you or a loved one has been injured in some type of accident due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages. In most cases, the other party’s insurance company is going to be who you actually have to make the claim against. In most cases, these insurance companies are either going to try to deny your claim or make you very low offers to settle the case so they can eliminate their risk. This type of claim should be looked at as a negotiation where you are trying to get as much of a payout as possible, and the insurance company is trying to minimize it. The following tips can help keep you in a strong position throughout this process.

File Your claim Quickly

It is important to file a claim as quickly as you reasonably can after your injury. Some insurance policies even specifically say that you need to notify them within a certain amount of time, so delays could give them the ability to deny or further delay your claim.

Have as Much Information as Possible Available

After the accident, your first priority should be making sure your health and wellbeing is taken care of. As soon as you are able, however, you need to start gathering up as much evidence as possible about what happened. If it was an auto accident that caused your injuries, for example, you should get a copy of the police report, the names and statements of any eye witnesses, pictures of the damage to vehicles, and anything else that may be useful. Even things that you don’t think will be of benefit may end up being essential, so gathering everything possible together will ensure you have everything you need.

Don’t Accept Low Offers

If you have even a reasonably strong case, the insurance company will begin making you low offers to try to get you to agree to this low payout so you don’t push forward and get more. While the idea of guaranteed money in your pocket may be tempting, if you accept, you are really just leaving money on the table. Never accept a low offer, even if the insurance company claims that it is the best they can do. If they come forward with an offer, it is a signal that they know you have a good claim that could be quite costly to them.

Demand a Fair Settlement

Your insurance company will likely be the first to make a settlement offer, which will almost certainly be unreasonably low. When rejecting that offer, keep in mind that you can make an offer of your own. Coming back with a significantly higher offer in its place will show them that you are going to demand a fair settlement, which can often help push the negotiating forward more quickly than would otherwise be possible.

Work with an Experienced Attorney

Your insurance company will try to convince you that there is no need to speak with an attorney. If you have an insurance agent, they may even try to tell you that their job is to represent your interests. The fact is, however, that the insurance company (and everyone who works for them in any way) are only interested in keeping their costs as low as possible. If you’re not comfortable with aggressive negotiations against an experienced insurance adjuster, don’t hesitate to have an attorney at your side. Contact attorney John M. Totten to go over your situation and get the legal assistance you need.

Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.