What happens during settlement negotiations with an insurer?
Oakley & Oakley
You will likely deal with an insurance company as you seek compensation for your injuries or property damages after a serious accident. However, few accident victims understand what goes on or their legal rights during negotiations with an insurer. As a result, many end up with much less than they deserve in compensation. Here is what to expect during settlement negotiations and what you can do to maximize your payout. Investigation into the crash Insurance companies investigate accidents to ascertain who was at fault and the financial value of the damages sustained. All these are crucial to the settlement negotiation. Insurance adjusters will usually conduct preliminary investigations shortly after an accident by taking statements from drivers and eyewitnesses. Police reports and surveillance footage also help establish the circumstances of the crash. The investigators may also look at your hospital records to establish the extent of your injuries. The initial offer to settle Once the investigations are complete, the insurer will have an estimate of the value of your claim and will likely give you an initial offer to settle the claim. It is crucial to assess whether the first offer from the insurer covers all the damages you suffered before accepting it. In most cases, offers made too soon are calculated with the insurer’s interests at heart, and you should not rush into one. Negotiating with the insurer You can reject the insurer’s offer or present them with a counteroffer. This will kickstart the negotiations as all parties seek a middle ground to settle the claim. The complexity and duration of these negotiations depend on the severity of your injuries, whether more than one party is at fault and the available insurance coverage, among other factors. Protecting your legal and financial interests after a car crash Your actions shortly after the accident could make or break your claim. For instance, you may recover less if you admit fault, or the insurer could downplay your injuries if you do not seek medical attention. Therefore, it is best not to make formal statements about the crash to anyone and see a doctor even if your injuries are not apparent. Above all, consider seeking legal guidance as early as possible to help you take the proper steps toward getting the compensation you deserve.The post What happens during settlement negotiations with an insurer? first appeared on Oakley & Oakley, LLC.