Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the surest and fastest way to get an insurance adjuster to reconsider their settlement offer. In rare cases, however, you may be able to reason with an adjuster for a higher settlement. These tips may help:
1. Document every penny the accident has cost you.
Medical bills, receipts for prescriptions, mileage on your car for doctor trips, recent pay stubs showing your income before and after the accident, and written repair estimates for your car will all help prove the cost of your damages. If you provide ample proof of the value of your claim, there is little for an insurance adjuster to object to.
2. Keep your cool.
Even if you tell the insurance adjuster the minimum amount you are willing to settle for, you will likely be offered less. In many cases, adjusters simply don’t have the authority to make a higher offer unless a lawsuit is filed. If you feel like you’re deadlocked, stay calm and ask to speak to their supervisor or a different claims adjuster.
3. Never settle for less.
No matter how frustrating and exhausting the negotiation process seems, don’t cave in and accept an inadequate settlement just to get it over with—especially if the settlement doesn’t even cover your outstanding bills.
4. Be aware of your timeline.
In some cases, an insurance company will delay the process to the point the statute of limitations on when you are able to file a lawsuit expires. You are then stuck with whatever they offer you because you’ve lost your biggest bargaining chip: taking legal action. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for filing suit against an insurance company is 3 years. Mark it on your calendar!
5. Consider hiring an attorney.
Having an attorney handling your claim takes the burden of negotiating with the insurance company off your shoulders. Personal injury attorneys are professional negotiators who can help you secure a much larger settlement than what you would likely get on your own.
At the very least, take advantage of a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to get an idea if the amount you’re seeking is in the right range.