If you were recently injured in a vehicle accident, you may qualify for a personal injury settlement. This is often the case if you have gone through emotional or physical injuries as a result of the accident, and the accident was not your fault. Here are some tips for negotiating personal injury settlements so you can get what you deserve.
Have Proof of Your Injuries
The first thing you must have when you want to negotiate injury settlements is proof of those injuries. The insurance company needs to see exactly why you are requesting a settlement based on the types of injuries you received. If you were side-swiped in the middle of an intersection and you broke three ribs and dislocated your shoulder, make sure you have medical proof of that. You should have gotten medical treatment right after the accident and have documentation from a doctor or surgeon in regards to your injuries. Also save receipts from your medical care, from co-pays and deductibles paid, to bills from the hospital or ambulance, and prescription charges. If the injury was something like whiplash, a chiropractor should be able to provide proof of that type of injury.
Detail Your Damages
In addition to providing proof of your injuries, you also need to show what types of damages you are requesting the settlement for. This often includes your physical injuries and the costs of those injuries, but don't forget about other potential damages. For example, if you were out of work for a week for recovery, you might have not earned money through employer benefits, and therefore have missed income. You may also have mental or psychological effects of the accident, especially in a severe accident. You may have post-traumatic stress disorder or your anxiety disorder might be heightened where you are fearful to drive or even be in a motor vehicle. These should also be included in the total damages.
Don't Pass on a Good Offer
While you don't need to accept the first offer you get if you feel it is much lower than what you deserve, you should also not keep negotiating until you get the amount you want. This may never come, especially since insurance companies won't always meet your counter-offer. Consult with your personal injury lawyer about what offer is fair and something that you can compromise with. If you have gone back and forth multiple times, consider a lower offer to reach the end of the negotiations.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
Getting a lawyer during negotiations is optional, but highly recommended. They work in similar cases all the time and therefore have the knowledge and experience to help you win your claim. Not only do the lawyers help with the negotiations and counter-offers with the insurance company, but they can also help prepare your claim, make sure you have the required proof, and help you determine the damages. If your claim is denied, your lawyer also helps file the appeal.