How to Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Insurance Negotiation Tips From a Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer
Negotiating with insurance companies after an accident can be a rollercoaster. As if suffering an accident wasn’t enough. Now you have to wrestle for a proper settlement with the people who are supposed to have your back. It’s enough to make anyone frustrated. But don’t give in to despair. You don’t have to settle for a lowball insurance settlement offer. Here’s everything you need to know about how to negotiate with insurance companies.
How to negotiate with insurance companies: a brief guide
After sustaining an injury or a car accident in Rhode Island, you might be able to file for coverage of your financial losses from an insurance company. This can either be your own coverage or through the liability insurance of another person. Some of the things you can recoup from an insurance company include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Out-of-pocket expenses such as towing services, wheelchair rentals or other accident or injury-related services
You may even be able to file for other aspects, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress, depending on the nature and severity of your injuries. It’s hard to put a price on emotional suffering, but traumatic experiences can weigh on your mind just as heavily as physical injuries. A proper insurance settlement should cover the full extent of your losses to the limit of your coverage.
How to negotiate with insurance companies: a brief guide
After filing a claim with your insurance company, they will put you in touch with a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster’s job is to assess your case and determine the insurance company’s overall liability in the accident. Remember: an insurance company’s main priority is to minimize its own financial loss. They’ll often throw out an initial low-ball offer to see if they can convince you to settle. This is where a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer can come in handy.
While you can negotiate a settlement on your own, an expert PI lawyer knows exactly how to negotiate with insurance companies. They’re well-versed in the secret tactics of insurance claim adjusters, and have the know-how you need to see results.
How to negotiate a settlement with an insurance claims adjuster
After receiving an initial settlement offer from the claims adjuster, you have the right to make a counteroffer. Even if the initial offering is reasonable, it’s usually worth a little back-and-forth. This will hopefully drive the settlement price up so you can get the most out of the policy.
You can either draft a response letter yourself or have your personal injury lawyer handle the communications process for you. Here are a few tips on how to respond to a low settlement offer and how to negotiate a settlement out of court.
1: Research your case
If you’re working with a personal injury lawyer, your lawyer should be familiar with similar settlements or research your case for you. If you’re working on your own, however, you’ll have to research similar settlements yourself. Having knowledge of similar settlements will give you a good idea of how much money you can expect to receive from your insurance company. This will also keep you from accepting a lowball insurance settlement offer.
2: Be willing to compromise
While it’s important to stand your ground, it’s also important to show that you’re reasonable. Show the insurance company that you’re willing to negotiate and compromise by hearing out their side of the argument. The insurance adjuster might point out differences between your case and others that you hadn’t considered, which could affect the value of your claim. But this doesn’t mean that you should abandon seeking a reasonable settlement.
Being willing to compromise is important, but you don’t want to back down in the face of adversity, either. If your claim is obviously worth far more than the claims adjuster wants to give you, don’t give in to pressure tactics or deception. When drafting your response letter, you want to strike a tone in your writing that’s firm, but not irrational or angry. Simply state that the insurance company’s offer is unacceptable and why. Then offer a more reasonable settlement counteroffer.
3: Include pictures when appropriate
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s true in insurance negotiations, too. You could potentially include photographs of the accident scene or your injuries to detail the severity of the situation. While it’s easy to argue away facts and figures, it’s difficult to deny the reality of photographic evidence. Letting the claims adjuster see the severity of your injuries firsthand could help your claim.
It’s hard to put a price on emotional pain and suffering, but the human element is always important. Emotional injuries deserve compensation just as much as physical ones.
4: If all else fails, file a lawsuit
If you and your insurance company can’t find common ground, it might be time to file a lawsuit against the insurance company. This is usually a last resort since both insurance companies and claimants usually prefer to settle things outside of a courtroom. But if the insurance company still isn’t willing to budge, even after careful negotiation, it might be time to escalate things to court. This is where a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer can give you a helping hand.
Who are the best personal injury lawyers for insurance negotiations in Providence RI?
At Petrarca Law, we know insurance litigation inside and out. Thanks to over 40 years of combined experience, we know all the tricks and tips for getting the most out of your claim.
We’ll handle everything for you, researching your claim, communicating with the insurance company, handling negotiations, and doing our best to get you the settlement you deserve. You’ll be able to focus on what matters most, getting your life back on track.
We can even help you in ways that other lawyers can’t, like diminished value cases for property damage, if you’ve been in a car accident. If you need help negotiating with an insurance company, Give our offices a call for a free consultation. We are the top personal injury lawyer Providence RI