If you are injured by another party’s negligence, it may be necessary to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation from the at-fault party.
However, insurance companies are notorious for paying accident victims less compensation than they deserve. This may be a low initial offer that does not fully pay for your financial losses, or using unfair tactics to reduce or deny your claim.
To ensure your claim is handled fairly, you should consider contacting Simien & Simien’s Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys to learn how to negotiate with insurance. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and help you determine a fair amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Below, our dedicated attorneys have provided several negotiation tips you may follow when you are contacted by an insurer after an accident.
1. Understand the Damages You Suffered
Before you begin negotiating with an insurance company, you should understand the damages you suffered after the accident. This will help you determine what your claim is worth and how much you should ask for when filing a personal injury claim.
To determine the value of your claim, add up how much your injury has cost you to this point. This may include damages such as:
- Past and future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Travel expenses for doctors’ visits
- Property damage
- Medical assistive equipment
2. Do Not Accept the First Offer
Never accept an insurance company’s first settlement offer. Insurance companies depend on accident victims not knowing the true value of their claim. An insurer will use this to its advantage by making a low-ball offer as a way to save money by paying you less than what you deserve.
You should also take several factors into consideration before accepting an insurer’s settlement offer, such as whether your injury may require future medical treatment. Once you accept an insurer’s offer, you will no longer be able to receive additional compensation.
If an insurer offers you a low settlement for your claim, ask for an explanation for the amount offered. Try to get the insurer to justify the amount offered in the settlement by asking for specific reasons as to why it is low. Additionally, you should consider making notes of the insurer’s explanation.
3. Only Provide Facts
When you communicate with an insurance company, only give factual information about the accident and your resulting injury.
It is important that you do not exaggerate the accident or speculate what may have occurred. You should only provide information you know to be true and recall the accident as you remember it happening.
Additionally, you should keep in mind that the adjuster reviewing your claim is working for the insurance company and is not on your side. The adjuster’s main goal during the claims process is to save the insurance company money by reducing your claim's value or denying it altogether.
If you provide inaccurate or exaggerated information about the accident, an adjuster may use your own words against you to pay you less compensation than you deserve.
4. Send a Demand Letter to the Insurer
Once you are healed from your injuries, you should send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company.
The demand letter should state basic facts about the accident and provide limited details on how seriously you were hurt.
Additionally, you should list the damages you suffered and the financial losses you suffered as a result of the accident. This may include your medical bills, lost wages and any other expenses you paid for out-of-pocket.
5. Consult with an Attorney
It is always in your best interest to contact an attorney after being injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence.
A skilled personal injury lawyer will have experience negotiating with insurance companies and will work to get a fair settlement for you.
For help negotiating with an insurance company, contact our Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys to schedule a free, no obligation. We will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
We will represent your claim at no upfront cost. Our attorneys only require payment for their services if you receive compensation for your claim.