Were you aware that most personal injury cases never go to court? They are typically settled in mediation, where the victim has control over accepting a settlement to their case and negotiating with the insurance provider. Here are a few tips for negotiating your own settlement.
Evaluate Your Claims Worth
One of the first things that you need to do is determine what your personal injury claim is worth. This is best done with a lawyer, who can use their experience with similar cases they have worked on to determine how much money you can get. While it is possible for you to study jury verdict amounts in your area, your lawyer will have access to cases that they have settled that never saw a courtroom.
Estimates In a personal injury settlement often use a formula that takes into account your past and future medical bills. You'll also need to estimate those future bills if you have a major injury that requires future treatment.
Submit A Settlement Demand Packet
Negotiating starts by making an initial demand with the insurance provider that should include all losses due to your injury. This includes bills for medical treatments, out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury, and lost wages as a result of your recovery. These items will be specified in your settlement demand packet so that the insurance company knows what is making up your initial demand.
Your settlement demand packet should have a demand letter that summarizes your personal injury and losses. You'll want to include copies of all medical bills that you have to date. A copy of the police report should be included as well as proof of the accident. If you have lost wages to claim, you'll want to submit proof of your current wages so that it is clear what each day of lost wages comes out to. You will also need to document witness statements if you have them, personal observations, and even drawings of the accident site.
Always Remain Calm And Polite
It is important that you are always calm and polite when interacting with the claim adjuster. They are the person that is going to accept or reject your settlement demand packet and make a counteroffer to your demand. As you can imagine, getting on the claim adjuster's bad side is not going to make for a good negotiation process. Anything you can do to make the process easier for them will encourage them to reach a favorable settlement.
For more information and advice, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area.