A report by the CDC showed that about 39.5 million physician visits resulted from unintentional injuries.
Cases of injuries caused by another person’s negligence are a daily occurrence. Therefore, insurance companies pay billions to compensate for such injuries that arise from medical malpractice, slips, and car accidents, among other incidences.
When you make a personal injury claim after an accident, you might need to negotiate with the other person’s insurance company. Settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company takes time.
Here are steps you can take to settle a personal injury claim with an insurer.
1. Gather the Necessary Information
You need to collect adequate information regarding your accident. If it’s a car accident, get the relevant insurance information of the at-the-fault driver. Your accident report will have all the information you need about the other driver’s insurance.
The information you gather should give details such as the time, date, and location of the accident. Be as precise as possible to make your claim admissible. You will also need to give details of the parties involved.
Insurance companies further require you to detail the injuries sustained. A medical report, in this case, can suffice. It would be best to take pictures and videos of the accident scene and some notable injuries to complement the written report.
2. Communicate to the Insurance Firm
Sending a notice letter to the insurance company of the at-fault individual should be the next step. You must notify the insurer of your intention to file a claim. It would be best to have your attorney handling all the communications and feedback.
Given the significant nature of a lawyer at this point, hiring a reliable personal injury attorney is essential. A qualified attorney will understand the letters or call from the insurance company. Some of the terms and information are incomprehensible if you’re not familiar with the compensation laws relating to personal injuries.
An insurance company might decide to give you a letter of Reservations of Rights. The message informs you of the intent to investigate a claim. It wouldn’t be surprising for a company to deny your claim if your injury has no cover.
You ought to be keen when recording your statement. An insurance adjuster might check out loopholes to reduce or deny your claim. Take time to heal as rushing into a settlement might make you get a compensation that’s lower than your injury claim.
3. List the Damages and Submit Your Demand Letter
You can submit your demand letter any time after receiving the letter of Reservation of Rights from the insurance adjuster. However, it is prudent to wait until you recover fully. After recovery, it is easier to identify all the losses and costs related to the accident.
Your demand letter should have details of the accident. You need to present all the relevant evidence so that you can demand the rightful compensation. It would be advisable to give in-depth details of the injuries and resultant costs.
Itemize all the cost details such as medical care, disability, rehabilitation, property damage, and lost wages. Adding these expenses allows you to calculate the economic losses. You’ll also need to highlight other costs, such as emotional trauma and suffering.
Once you calculate your injury claim’s value, it’s time to put together a Settlement Demand Packet informing the insurance company of the much money you deserve. Remember to attach all copies of receipts, medical bills, and other documents that can help in your claim.
4. Negotiating an Injury Claim Settlement
The personal injury attorneys’ market size in the U.S stands at $37.6 billion. With the growing complications related to settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company, hiring an attorney is almost indispensable. Negotiating your settlement is one of the most challenging aspects of the process of a personal injury claim.
You have to be persistent and patient during the negotiation period. The adjuster would want to make the settlement quickly and compensate for as little cash as possible. You need to negotiate for a higher compensation despite getting pressure from the claims adjuster.
With a strong argument and supporting evidence, you can make counteroffers. You ought to be aware of some of the tactics the insurance company will make to give you their first offer. With a qualified attorney, the negotiation process can be seamless.
5. Consider the Insurance Company’s Final Offer
Negotiating a settlement with an insurer can be a back and forth process. The insurance company will give you a final offer, and further negotiations might not be possible. You have the right to deny or accept the claim.
If the insurer provides credible reasons for downgrading your request, you might have no option but to accept the order. You might also have to accept an offer if you were responsible for the accident or if the cash offered is covering almost all your damages.
Conversely, you can reject the offer if the insurer denies your demands with no justification. You should also refuse an offer that doesn’t seem to cover full compensation for costs incurred and the extent of injuries.
6. Take Legal Action
Insurance companies don’t often heed to offers. The firms are in business, and giving a lower counteroffer is inevitable. If you feel that your proposal rejection is not legit, you can file a lawsuit.
A personal injury attorney can come in handy when you decide to take legal action. In most cases, the insurer will extend a reasonable settlement when you threaten to file a lawsuit. Most companies know that legal battles can be more costly than making a personal injury settlement.
Take These Crucial Steps When Settling a Personal Injury Claim With an Insurance Company
Personal injuries are common. Yet, settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company isn’t often easy. You need to follow specific steps from gathering information to negotiation for your request to be substantiated.
Working with a personal injury lawyer is advisable. The attorney will do all the work as you focus on your recovery. The last thing you want is to settle for lower compensation due to a lack of information.
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