How to Successfully Negotiate a Personal Injury Settlement with An Insurance Company?
If you are injured due to the occurrence of an accident that was no fault of your own, you will likely need to deal with an insurance company to seek out compensation for your damages. Claim settlement negotiations are a common occurrence in personal injury insurance claims and are considered to be the normal way of resolving your dispute in the hopes of avoiding filing a lawsuit in court. While hiring a McHenry, MD personal injury attorney will provide you with a significant advantage in your claim, you should always be sure that you understand the process and how negotiations with an insurance company should work.
It is important to realize the true role of an insurance company. These companies do not exist for the purpose of helping people who’ve been injured. An insurance company is just a company with the same goal as any other company: making profits. Those profits are necessary for their business success, so their claims adjusters will never have your best interests in mind. They will do anything they can to limit your compensation or find a reason to outright deny your claim. Always keep this reality in mind when you are negotiating with any insurance company.
Find a qualified McHenry, MD personal injury attorney to conduct an independent investigation of your claim. You are going to need to provide adequate proof of fault in order to convince the insurance company that you are really entitled to compensation. You need actual evidence to back up your claim. A skilled personal injury attorney in McHenry, MD will collect all the evidence that exists to show exactly how the responsible party breached their legal duty of care.
When negotiating a settlement, you need to know the exact amount of your losses. Economic damages are simple to calculate. You add up your medical expenses by gathering hospital bills and records of treatment. You can calculate your lost wages by reviewing your most recent paychecks. Non-economic losses, however, are more difficult to calculate. You still need to find a way to calculate them when your McHenry, MD personal injury attorney is negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. Most insurance companies use a standard multiplier that they apply to assess non-economic damages, which include pain, suffering, and emotional distress. This multiplier is usually based on your proven economic damages. For example, if your lost wages and medical bills come to $25,000 and the multiplier used is two, your non-economic losses would be assumed to be $50,000.
Be ready to present all the necessary documents to prove your injuries. You’ll need to listen closely to the advice of your McHenry, MD personal injury attorney on how to best support your claim with credible documentation. This evidence will provide proof of your economic losses and will also form the the basis for your non-economic losses. The standard multiplier applied by insurance companies may need to be adjusted for cases of catastrophic injuries or permanent bodily harm.
Prepare yourself to address and defend all of the weaknesses of your case. Even if you are convinced that your claim has no weaknesses, you can expect the insurance company to find some kind of flaw, which can then be used to deny payment or reduce the amount of your settlement. Maryland uses the concept of comparative negligence, which could end up reducing your compensation, if your own negligent actions contributed to your accident. Any insurance company will use this kind of information to reject your claim. Insurance companies will also painstakingly review all your prior medical records before beginning negotiations with you or your McHenry, MD personal injury attorney. It will be considered a weakness if you did not seek treatment for your injuries right away, stopped treatment, skipped doctor visits, or failed to follow your physician’s orders.
Be sure to ask your personal injury attorney about the statute of limitations in McHenry, MD. Maryland has a statute of limitations that limits you to three years from the date of the accident you were injured in to file a lawsuit. This time limit doesn’t directly apply to insurance negotiations but it does become a factor if settlement discussions drag out or break down. If you can’t reach an agreement in time, you’ll have to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations, if passed, is a complete bar to your claim, don’t wait too long when negotiating with the insurance company.
Most importantly, consult with a McHenry, MD personal injury attorney through every step of your claim. Insurance company negotiations are complex. Although educating yourself on how to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company is helpful, it is very difficult to protect yourself, if you don’t have a focused legal background.