What Should You Do If You Are Offered A Settlement?
Obtaining compensation after a personal injury is an important part of recovering from your accident. If you’re already working with a lawyer, he or she can help you every step of the way. What should you do if you are offered a settlement?
Stick to the Amount You Have in Mind
As you put together your settlement demand letter, you will come up with an amount of what you feel your personal injury claim is worth. Consider a minimum amount that you would settle for and keep that amount in mind. When a settlement offer comes in, evaluate whether it fits within the parameters you have set. If you and your lawyer feel that your demand amount is acceptable, you don’t have to settle for anything less. Stick to the amount you have in mind if it is a true representation of what you deserve.
Work Through Negotiations
Some victims of personal injury feel a need to jump at the first offer they are given, but it’s OK to work through negotiations. Insurance adjusters often lowball the first offer in hopes that you’ll snatch it right up. Being smart and negotiating a higher amount shows the adjuster that you know the worth of your case. He or she might then offer something more reasonable.
Appeal to Emotions
As you are working through negotiations, go ahead and appeal to the emotions of the insurance adjuster. Sometimes they’re very thick-skinned and it won’t affect them at all, but other times they more easily see your side of things when you point out the emotional side of your claim. For example, if the driver who caused your accident had an open beer can in his or her car, refer to that. If you are unable to take care of your children now that you’re injured, refer to that. These are powerful factors when you’re hoping to negotiate a settlement offer.
Contact a Lawyer
Not everyone works with a lawyer when they are going through negotiations for a personal injury case, but it’s often helpful to have a professional on your side. If you are demanding compensation that is higher than three or four thousand dollars, if you plan to seek damages for future issues, or if there’s a question as to who is responsible for the accident, it could be helpful to hire an attorney.