Tips for Settlement Negotiations after a Car Accident

If you were the victim of a car accident, the first thing you should concentrate on is getting well from any injuries. However, do not wait too long before you plan negotiations and hire a Richmond car accident attorney. Even when you don’t feel back to your normal self, make sure you are keeping careful records of your medical bills and costs incurred by the accident. After you have received the documentation that you need, you and your attorney are ready to go to bat with the insurance companies.

 

Ask for More

Your lawyer will be able to negotiate with ease, because they are used to dealing with insurance companies. You may be surprised at the amount your lawyer is asking for at the outset of negotiations. It could be anywhere from 25% to 100% more than the amount you think is reasonable. However, this is merely a jumping-off point, and insurance companies will most likely work you down to a number closer to the amount hoped for. 

 

Patience

Understandably, you’d like to get negotiations over as quickly as possible, but it is likely that this won’t happen this way. Most attorneys make it a point to not end negotiations before exchanging figures with an adjuster at least three times. When the first meeting doesn’t go as you’d like, don’t be frustrated. The process takes patience and strategy, as your attorney should know.

 

Accepting the Offer

Your attorney will know when to accept an offer. There are a few clues the adjuster will give you if it is the best possible amount or if they are holding out on you. Ask, or have your attorney ask, if their offer is their “highest possible offer.” If the adjuster doesn’t answer with a definitive “yes,” then you may be able to negotiate higher. However, if the adjuster has offered you far lower than your desired amount, you can decide to go to court with the insurance company over the settlement. You’ll need to discuss with your Richmond car accident attorney whether this is a wise step.