How to Get the Best Personal Injury Settlement
You are trying to recover damages resulting from injuries suffered in a car crash, you should know that you are embarking on an extended negotiation process with the insurance provider. You will be bargaining with an insurance adjuster who mainly trying to settle claims for as little cost to the insurance company as they can. When your health and financial standing are at stake, you need every advantage available as you go up against a professional negotiator. Our team of New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC have provided some key tips to help make sure you obtain a fair settlement.
Know When to Hire a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer
You should involve a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey on your case as early in the process as you can to maximize your benefits. Before you start negotiating a settlement, you should consider the nature of your case and determine if the help of a personal injury attorney would be useful. Unless the case is fairly minor, under $5,000 or so, a lawyer would be able to help you accomplish much more. Net recovers of cases that use attorney services, even after fees and other expenses, often far exceed what unrepresented individuals settle for.
The value of your damages, including medical expenses and pain and suffering, will usually exceed a few thousand dollars. The higher the value of compensation you are seeking, the more crucial it is to have a qualified New Jersey personal injury attorney on your side. Most insurance will not take you seriously if you pursue a high-value claim without a lawyer.
Your claim should include compensation for future damages. When you can, it is best to avoid entering settlement negotiations before you have reached your maximum possible recovery. Even at that point, if your projected course of treatment will likely run into the future, or you have long-lasting injuries that will require continued care, your claim should include a demand for compensation for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment, or lost income. It is advised to have a lawyer help you when negotiation these damages because these items require specific proofs before they can be recognized by the insurance provider. An experienced insurance adjuster will do whatever they can to bring your claim into question.
Know the Bottom Line
When you are determining the worth of your claim, choose a value at the lower end of the acceptable range that will cover all your needs, and that will be the lowest offer you will accept. You will not tell this to the insurance adjuster, obviously, but it can help during the negotiation process to know what would be acceptable as a final offer. Prepare yourself to adjust this figure when needed when new information is available. If the adjuster brings to light facts that damage your case, or if you discover new evidence that strengthens it. It is often difficult to raise this figure, but it is expected that it will decrease. If you are not a skilled negotiator, you should contact a qualified New Jersey personal injury lawyer to help.
Do Not Accept the Initial Offer
Insurance adjusters will often offer an unreasonably low starting figure, just to see if the injured party has a real grasp on the true value of their claim or is desperate enough to take any compensation they can get. You need to determine if the starting offer made by the adjuster is actually within an acceptable range or just a negotiation tactic. If it is satisfactory, you should then make a counter-offer slightly lower than what you demanded initially.
Make the Adjuster Justify Their Offer
If the insurance adjuster offers you a settlement that is incredibly low, you should ask for a justification. Make note of the reasons and create a response that addresses these reasons. Do not lower your demand. You should wait for the adjuster to reply to your rebuttals and see if the offer changes.
Emphasize the emotionally-compelling elements of your case. The job of the insurance adjuster is to settle a claim for less money than they think a jury would award a claimant at trial. He or she will know very well that certain factors can be particularly persuasive to the jury. If any of these factors apply to your case, utilize them. This could include the use of alcohol by the driver responsible for the car accident.
It could prove difficult if your injuries are stopping you from returning to work and medical costs continue to rise, but you should remain patient. Wait for a counter-offer before making another reply, and do not lower your offer a second time without any advancement in the adjuster’s offer. Address all the arguments and objections of the adjuster and see if a fair figure is coming. If not, you may need to pursue a lawsuit.
Get Everything in Writing
If the insurance adjuster makes a fair offer and you are ready to agree, you should compose a letter confirming the agreed-upon sum in writing. Any verbal agreement is only worth the paper it is printed on, and if the insurance provider later disputes the offer, you will have some proof of what was agreed to.
New Jersey Car Crashes
After a car accident, pursuing a personal injury claim can leave victims seriously confused and frustrated. You need a firm understanding of the law to make sure that your legal rights are protected. Instead of trying to figure it out on your own, you should contact a New Jersey car crash attorney.
Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC has over 50 years helping the residents of New Jersey by providing aggressive legal representation after being injured in an auto accident. We are known for our attention to detail and the ability to bring your case to a successful resolution. Give us a call today at (201) 997- 0030 to discuss your case.