Most auto accident claims end in out-of-court settlements. However, your case may only end in a favorable settlement if you sharpen your negotiation skills. Below are some of the negotiation tips that can help you reach a fair settlement.
Know Your Target
Before you commence the negotiations, you should know exactly how much you can accept from the adjuster. Maybe you want $50,000, but can you take $48,000? Would you reject $45,000? If you don't know what is acceptable to you and what is not acceptable, then you can end up wasting time negotiating for nothing.
For example, if you cannot take anything less than $10,000 and the adjuster is sticking to $3,000, you are unlikely to reach an agreement and you should look for an alternative approach. However, you may also want to be ready to change your mind if new facts come to light.
Have Supporting Facts
You should have evidence or supporting facts at your fingertips. You need to be able to show the adjuster why you want $40,000 in compensation and not $30,000. This means you should itemize your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other damages. Have proof of damages, such as medical records, evidence of lost income, and pictures of your injuries, to back up your claims.
Don't Be In a Hurry
The negotiation will be a back-and-forth affair that may take a little time before it is resolved. Don't expect to reach an agreement with the adjuster on the first or second contact. The adjuster might even drag their feet with the hope that you will give up and accept whatever is on the table. Therefore, a little patience will pay off in the long run.
Don't Accept the First Offer
Like any negotiation, you will start with a high offer while the adjuster kicks off the process with a low offer. The idea is that after several talks, you will come to an agreement that is neither as low as the adjuster first offered nor as high as what you initially demanded. The adjuster knows this, so if you accept the first offer, you will end up with a lower settlement than you could have received after serious negotiations.
Hopefully, you will reach an agreement with the adjuster and you won't have to file a lawsuit. However, you should not negotiate forever; you should know when to abandon the negotiations and file a lawsuit. If you are negotiating without a lawyer, it is always a good idea to consult one before you reject or accept an offer. The lawyer will assess your case and advise you on whether the adjuster's offer is reasonable or not.
For more information, contact a law firm like Wolfe Jones Wolfe Hancock Daniel & South LLC.