When you have a personal injury claim, your case will likely be resolved through a negotiated settlement. A settlement can get you the money you need for your recovery sooner, without the time and expense of going to trial. However, a settlement doesn’t mean you should accept less than fair and full compensation. Here are some tips for ensuring that you receive the best personal injury settlement possible in your case. 

Decide on a Bottom Line

In preparing for settlement negotiations, you will have determined what you believe your claim is worth. This should also include determining what is the minimum amount of money that you would be willing to accept for a settlement. Of course, this bottom-line figure is simply for your own purposes, and should not be shared with the insurance company. But as you negotiate a settlement figure with the insurer, you should also know what is the least amount of money you would be happy to accept in a settlement of your personal injury claim. 

Do Not Accept the First Offer

Insurance companies often utilize the tactic of offering a very low amount for their first settlement offer. The insurance company does this to determine whether you know what your claim is worth, your patience for engaging in settlement negotiations and to try to anchor the negotiations towards a lower settlement amount. 

If the insurance company’s first offer is low but reasonable, you can make a counteroffer that is a little lower than your initial demand for compensation, which can help show that you are willing to be reasonable and to compromise to try to reach a settlement. 

Make the Insurance Company Justify Their Offers

However, if the insurance company’s first offer is absurdly low, you don’t have to immediately make a counteroffer that comes off your initial demand. Instead, you can respond by asking the insurance company to provide specific reasons in support of its low offer. When the insurance company gives you its reasons, you might be able to get the insurance company to raise its offer without having to budge off your initial demand if you can persuasively counter each of the reasons raised by the insurance company. 

Rely on an Emotional Appeal

During settlement negotiations, you might be able to get an insurance adjuster to agree to a higher settlement amount by making emotional appeals. Although adjusters are working to advance the insurance company’s interests, they are still human beings. If you have photographic evidence that displays the severity of the accident or the injuries you suffered, or if you can explain how your injuries have negatively impacted your life or the life of your family members, that can help to convince the insurance company to go a little higher.

Do Not Negotiate Against Yourself

One important tip to remember is never to negotiate against yourself. Do not reduce your offer until you have received a new counteroffer for increased compensation from the insurance company. 

Have Legal Representation

You should ideally have legal representation when negotiating a personal injury settlement with insurance companies. If you have an attorney, the insurer will know they can’t get away with tactics that might work with accident victims inexperienced with settlement negotiations, and that you are serious about getting maximum compensation for your injuries. 

Get a Final Settlement Agreement in Writing

Once you and the insurance company agree on a settlement number, it is important to immediately confirm the settlement figure in writing by sending a letter to the insurance company. 

Read more: Fair Settlements for Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Claim

Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a personal injury in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm represent clients injured in Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, Hoboken, and throughout New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.