It is very common for a personal injury lawsuit to involve one or both parties’ insurance companies, especially in the State of Florida. This is because when an injury is sustained, the person affected will seek to utilize their health insurance company to help pay for the medical costs of the injury. In a perfect world, the insurance company would dispense all of the funds needed to cover the injury’s bills, however this is not the case the vast majority of the time. Therefore, it is useful to know how to negotiate with insurance companies in order to receive the maximum amount of funding in a personal injury case.
The negotiation process usually begins with a simple phone call to the insurance adjuster. The initial call is important because it establishes both side’s points about the case to the other party. At this time, or shortly after, the individual will probably receive a reservation of rights letter, which states that insurance company is investigating the claim and will not necessary dispense any money right away. This is normal, and expected until the negotiations are finalized.
Once the claim is established, the insurance company will almost always offer the applicant a settlement amount, which is a sum of money meant to cover the necessary costs of the injury, but given outside of the court system. While it may be tempting to take the initial settlement offer, it is never a good idea. Insurance companies will almost always low-ball the first offer, hoping to get away with paying the least amount of funding that they can get away with. Instead, it is a good idea to then present a counter-offer, generally what was initially calculated to be necessary for covering the injury costs. If that is not accepted, then a counter-offer from the insurance company will be offered and it may go back and forth for a bit.
Eventually, and usually only after a few calls and offers, an agreement can be reached as to what the settlement on the personal injury claim should be. One trick to try to gain a better settlement might to be ask the insurance adjuster why he or she thinks the settlement should be that amount, which shows that the filer is aware of how much their settlement is worth. Another tactic might be to emphasize the emotional needs behind the counter-offer, which appeals to the person’s compassion and breaks up the monotony of simply restating the case facts.
In all personal injury cases, it is a good idea to have an attorney on your side as well who can help you negotiate properly and offer guidance in every part of the case. This is especially true if a settlement cannot be reached and the case must go to court. At the Franco Law Firm, we have many years of experience working with individuals filing personal injury claims and the insurance companies that they are appealing to, so there is little doubt that we can offer only the best guidance in winning your claim as well. For more information about how we can assist you and to schedule a free consultation for your personal injury case, please call us at 813 872 0929.