If an insurance company contacts an individual following a car accident, it’s important for him or her to avoid providing too much information or accepting an early settlement offer. There are steps to take when negotiating with insurance adjusters to avoid potentially serious risks.
Insurance Adjusters Are Not on the Victim’s Side
While insurance adjusters may seem amiable and helpful in trying to negotiate a settlement, they are not working in the best interests of accident victims. Insurance adjusters usually attempt to reach the lowest possible settlement to keep the insurance company from paying out large amounts.
Victims should avoid providing any more information than is needed to insurers, even if representatives seem personable. When filing a claim, claimants should only relay the information that’s relevant to the claim, including details about the accident and injuries sustained.
Accident victims should also avoid signing any releases coming from the insurance company. While they may perceive these forms as protective and helpful, release forms often only help insurance companies. Saying too much can enable insurance companies to use those words against claimants and reduce their settlement amount.
Working with Attorneys to Negotiate Claims
Many accident victims don’t have the experience or knowledge needed to effectively navigate the claims process. It can be easy to say the wrong thing or sign a form that only serves to help decrease a settlement. This is why accident victims are better off working with a personal injury attorney during negotiations.
An attorney will communicate with insurance adjusters on clients’ behalf or provide guidance regarding what to say. Attorneys can also help determine how much a case is worth and collect and present evidence to support a claim. A personal injury lawyer may be able to reach a more favorable settlement than the insurance company initially offers.
Unlike insurance companies, personal injury lawyers work to protect the rights of their clients, which is why they’re often invaluable when speaking with insurers. With the help of an attorney, claimants can ensure they have a chance to get the compensation that is appropriate for their injuries and any other damages sustained.
To reach the best possible outcome for their claims, injured victims need to be careful during negotiations. Avoiding providing too much information or accepting the first offer can lead to a better settlement.