Here in the US, we’re accustomed to paying or being paid the price on the price tag.
However, a personal injury settlement is more like being in a foreign, open-air market. Negotiating is not only common but expected.
If you want to make the most of your negotiation—and get what you justly deserve—you’ll need to be ready to stand your ground. Here are the three most critical steps to keep in mind during your settlement negotiation to ensure things go smoothly.
Organization is critical right off the bat.
When it comes to an insurance settlement, you should stay on top of every piece of information available. Be sure to document conversations you have with your adjuster, with the insurance company, or with the party at fault. Keep a spreadsheet to track your conversations, including the date and any action items expected on either end.
You’ll also want to send documents promptly according to deadlines placed on them, make copies of everything you send, and keep copies of all files in a single place. This can help you pivot quickly during negotiations, as well as with the next step.
Have an Injury Settlement Amount in Mind
When the settlement process begins, you’ll put together a demand letter that explains what you believe your claim is worth based on a number of factors.
However, it would help if you also did some internal consideration beyond this.
What is the minimum amount of money you are willing to accept? This is important during the negotiation process, as you don’t want to buckle under pressure and accept a lower number. Keep it in mind as the conversations continue, but keep it to yourself.
Besides, for anything from a car accident injury settlement to a work injury settlement, you should be prepared to mention and emphasize any logical or emotional points in your favor that will help you reach a higher settlement—and avoid ending up with this minimum amount.
Don’t Automatically Take the First Offer
Even if you need money from a pending lawsuit, you shouldn’t jump at the chance to take the first offer on the table. As you negotiate an insurance settlement, don’t forget that the adjuster’s initial offer is often designed to see what you’ll find reasonable. They will expect a counteroffer.
Be prepared to do a little bargaining to find a price you both think is fair, and to ask for justification if you feel their offer is low.
Stand your ground and don’t buckle under pressure. With a little patience—and maybe the help of a good lawyer—you’ll be able to come to an agreement that works for you.
Keep a Cool Head to See Success
Your injury may have involved a significant amount of pain and suffering, but keeping a cool head with these tips can help you during the settlement process. Don’t buckle under pressure, and don’t be afraid to stand your ground to get the settlement you rightly deserve!
For more of the tips you need, check out our other blog posts!