Legally, you can negotiate on your own behalf in a personal injury claim. Yet, this can be very challenging for those who are not skilled and experienced in legal processes and insurance negotiations. You’ll be going up against an insurance adjuster with experience, and if you don’t know which laws are on your side, you’ll struggle to stand against them. Those who chose to negotiate their insurance claims alone should consider the following tips.
Understand The Negotiation Process
Before you even consider speaking with an insurance adjuster and negotiating your insurance claim alone, you should fully understand the negotiation process. This includes the notification letter to notify the insurance company of the at-fault party that you are seeking compensation for damages. Then, there is the Reservation of Rights letter that the insurance company will respond to, indicating that they will speak with you, but not indicating fault. Your demand letter comes next with the amount that you are seeking in damages. The insurance adjuster will contact you, deny your initial request, and offer a different amount, starting negotiations. You will then go back and forth until you reach an agreement or determine that you will be unable to do so.
Communicating with Insurance Adjusters
Whether or not you are successful in your negotiations with the insurance company will depend on how strong your evidence is and how capable you are when it comes to negotiations with an insurance adjuster. You’ll want to remember that the goal of the adjuster is to minimize your recovery and get you to settle quickly for a low amount. The insurance adjuster is not on your side, but on the side of the insurance company.
Always keep your documentation and evidence well organized when attempting to assert your claim. Keep all medical documents, bills, lost wage evidence, etc. in a file that you can quickly and easily access as needed during negotiations.
Remember that you do not have to accept an offer that is lower than what you feel is fair. You can reject the offer and stick with the original requested amount, or you can return a counteroffer. Always weigh the pros and cons of each option and don’t make any agreements that you aren’t comfortable with. Also keep in mind that it costs nothing to get a free consultation with most North Carolina personal injury attorneys.