Among the most common legal negotiations we see at Buttafuoco & Associates are with insurance companies for personal injury claims. After an injury, people are commonly offered payouts from insurance companies; however, too many individuals accept the first offer because they don’t realize it’s too low to cover the full extent of medical bills and other accident-related expenses. In this article, we’ll discuss the three steps you should take to get the most out of your personal injury claim. If you need help at any point in this process, contacting a Northern New Jersey personal injury lawyer should be your first course of action.
Issues with Insurance Compensation
Before we get into how to maximize your injury crame, there are two big ideas it’s crucial to understand.
- This is a negotiation: All too often, our Northern New Jersey personal injury attorneys work with clients who do not realize that their personal injury settlement is a negotiation. The reality is that you don’t have to take the first offer, and you shouldn’t! You can always ask for more. To truly get the money you need out of the insurance company, you’ll need to proceed with a process involving offers, counteroffers, and bluffs. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we know this might be frustrating, but with some savvy and patience, you can get the money you deserve.
- The insurance company is not your friend: Whether the defendant’s insurance or your own is paying for your injuries, the most important thing to know about the insurance process is that the insurance company is not your friend. No matter what the commercials say, their main goal is not to protect folks; it’s to make as much money as possible as a for-profit business.
Step 1: Reject the First Offer
As I mentioned above, you shouldn’t take the first offer an insurer gives you. In the initial offer, the insurance company is trying to pay out as little as possible. The insurance adjuster might seem like a nice guy, but he’s trying to offer as little as he can get away with; settling claims quickly and cheaply is how adjusters keep their bosses happy!
Step 2: Make a Counteroffer
After you reject the first offer, you need to respond. You’ll need to do this in writing, and you should lay out the details of your case. Since most folks aren’t seasoned negotiators with experience in personal injury law—something that insurance companies count on to maximize their profits—this would be an opportune time to work with a Northern New Jersey personal injury lawyer.
Still, there are a few tips we have for almost any personal injury counteroffer:
- Make a big claim for more than you think you can get. The insurance company will counter this, and you’ll end up meeting somewhere in the middle.
Make a list justifying the dollar amount. Make sure you itemize everything. Give the insurance company a breakdown, indicating the logic of the dollar amount of your counteroffer. As a personal injury lawyer serving Northern New Jersey knows, the damage a personal injury case does to your life goes beyond medical bills and lost wages; your suffering and loss of quality of life are significant, and you deserve remuneration.
- Emphasize the strengths of your case. The insurance company will claim your injuries aren’t that bad, that you were at fault, and that your medical treatments weren’t necessary. You need to fight back! Include evidence of your injuries and medical treatment. Just like you would in the court of law, build your case.
Step 3: Hire an Attorney
Many individuals successfully negotiate on their own with insurance companies, but keep in mind that insurance adjusters are professionals and typically have armies of lawyers in their corner. One of the best things you can do is to get on a level playing field.
How much is your pain and suffering worth? How much do insurance companies typically pay out in your kind of case? When should you take the offer or keep fighting? The adjusters will fight you, trying to minimize what you’ve gone through.
A personal injury attorney in Northern New Jersey will have the legal knowledge, experience, and judgment to write the most effective counteroffer for your case. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we’ll fight for you as hard as the insurance companies fight to keep their money. To find out more about how we can help, fill out this form for a free case review, or get in touch today at 1-800-NOW-HURT.