How to ensure you are getting the most from your injury claim
If you have sustained an injury regardless of whether it was from your own doing or someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to a compensation claim. Compensation can assist in covering expenses associated with your injury and help you to get back on the road to recovery. Here is everything you need to know to get the most out of your injury claim.
To increase your chances of getting a settlement that you are happy with, it is essential that you are prepared, and you take your claim through the entire process. Relying on the insurance company to take care of this on your behalf is not advisable as their intentions are different to yours. Insurance companies will not payout claims without proper documented evidence. They will thoroughly investigate the event of the injury. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, they will try devaluing your claim based on this information. To get back to your everyday duties as soon as possible, you will need to have a plan in place.
Determine what settlement amount you’d be happy with
It’s a good idea to work out the minimum amount you’d accept from your claim before submitting your personal injury settlement letter and talking to an insurance adjuster. Keep this information private and don’t tell the adjuster what the amount is. It makes it easier to accept or decline counter offers if you already have a number in your head. If additional information comes forward and it makes your case stronger or weaker, you may want to adjust the amount to suit the evidence that is submitted.
The first offer is not always the best offer
Its normal for adjusters to put forward an offer that is lower than warranted. They do this because some people who are not informed of how the process works, just accept it not knowing that they could be entitled to much more. When the adjuster makes an offer, your reply will depend on whether you are happy with that number or not. If you are relatively happy with the offer but it is lower than your original demand amount, you can make counter offers until a final settlement amount is reached.
What to do if the offer is far too low
If the adjuster comes back with an unreasonably low offer, more likely than not, it’s because they are using that as a negotiating tactic. Do not automatically lower your demand amount in fear of not receiving compensation. Respond by asking why the amount is so low. When the adjuster states the reasons for the number, reply to each of these. If they have valid reasons for making the amount so minimal, you may have to lower your demand somewhat.
Reiterate key points to the adjuster
When in the negotiation process, it’s good to reiterate key points that support your claim strongly. For example, if you were injured at work and there is a known hazard and it wasn’t rectified, remind them of this. If you were in a motor vehicle accident and the other person was negligent and you have supporting police records, witnesses etc refer to this. If you have proof that the accident was from no wrongdoing of your own, this makes your case solid and you are more likely to get a good result.
Wait for a reply
Whilst waiting for the insurance adjuster to respond, do not lower your demand. It pays to be patient. If they keep coming back with low offers, go back with a higher one. If they don’t agree to your amount and continuously give you the same offer you can either keep going with the negotiating or reassess and see if there was any supporting evidence that may have been left out, even if it is minor. At this point it’s a good idea to seek legal advice if you haven’t already.
Seeking legal advice
If your claim isn’t heading in the direction you’d like it to, it may be beneficial to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Areas that commonly need professional negotiating at some point:
- If you are not represented and requesting a significant amount of money for your injury, it is unlikely that your claim will reach the settlement amount you want.
- If there isn’t a clear indication of who is at fault for the injury, you may need legal representation to build your case and put forward a strong argument on your behalf.
- If you are claiming potential future loss of income or ongoing medical expenses, you need a professional to navigate this adequately for you.
Get your settlement in writing
Once negotiations have ended and you have reached a settlement that you are satisfied with, you should put the agreement in writing and send it to the adjuster as soon as you can.
South East Injury Lawyers specialise in representing victims of accidents and injuries. We are committed to getting the absolute best results for our clients and work hard to ensure they our clients receive the compensation that they are entitled to. If you have been injured and need some help navigating the claim process, get in touch with our experienced team of specialist injury lawyers. We offer free, no obligation case reviews that can be done in a matter of 30 mins.