If you have been recently involved in a car accident, slip and fall (premises liability), or other type of personal injury, it is important to take these necessary steps to ensure you can get the most out of your settlement.
The Memmen Law Firm, LLC can ensure you maximize your settlement amount by following these steps:
• By putting together your demand letter, you have figured out a range of what you believe your settlement is worth. Before doing anything else, decide what is the minimum amount you would agree to settle for. This figure is for your own information and there is no reason to reveal it to your adjuster until discussion warrants it. Having this bottom line amount in mind will speed up discussions. This can help you make snap decisions in the case of a take-it-or-leave-it situation. Do not cling to this number, though. If an adjuster points out facts you had not considered, be prepared to change your mind.
• Do not jump at the first option presented by your adjuster. Often, adjusters will begin by presenting a very low settlement amount or by denying your claim altogether. This is a negotiation tactic used to test your patience and seriousness. When a first offer is made, always consider it in comparison to your bottom line amount and try to be reasonable with your adjuster. Also encourage your adjuster to justify their low offer to you. You should be prepared to respond to each point made with a brief counterargument. Next time you meet, ask for a response to your points and negotiations for a fair price should start from there.
• If there is a particular strong piece of evidence in your claim, for example, a photograph of a severe car crash or gruesome injury, make sure to refer back to it frequently. Also consider mentioning factors like if there have been numerous crashes at a certain site or if your injury interfered with your ability to work or care for your child. While these instances are impossible to put a dollar amount on these factors, it is important for your adjuster to consider them in regards to your settlement amount.
• Do not reduce your amount before listening to an intervening amount from your adjuster. It is not a good bargaining tool to reduce your amount more than once before being offered a new increased amount from the adjuster. Again, be prepared to respond to a low offer with valid points of reason for your desired settlement amount. If these tactics are still not working towards an agreed amount and the negotiations are not going where you’d hoped, know when to engage your attorney.
• When you and the adjuster reach an agreement on your settlement amount, immediately confirm the amount in a letter to the adjuster. There are sample settlement confirmation letters to use to keep this document simple.
This article is an excerpt from “How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim” by Attorney Joseph Matthews http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/tips-getting-best-claim-settlement.html