It’s unfortunate, but settlements for personal injury cases are rarely simple or straightforward. They require a complex and sometimes conflict-ridden process of back-and-forth before a settlement is reached. The process, in the end, isn’t much different than haggling for the price of a big ticket purchase, but requires a lot more specialized knowledge, and the outcome can be wildly different. Learn how the process of negotiation works in a personal injury case, and why Columbia personal injury attorneys are vital to getting you compensation.
The Process of Negotiation
When you’re hurt in an accident, and it’s someone else’s fault, it begins a complex and sometimes long process of negotiating with the other party and their insurer to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. There are a number of steps in this process, which generally goes as follows:
- You file a claim for reimbursement based on the liability of the defendant. In this claim, you ask for a high amount to cover the full extent of your injuries.
- The insurance adjuster attempts to poke holes in your claim to avoid payment altogether, or at least to get you to lower your request. They might claim that you’re not as badly hurt as you claim, that the accident was partially (or entirely) your fault, or try a range of other tactics.
- You issue a rebuttal to these arguments, presenting evidence to back your case.
- The adjuster comes back with a low-ball offer to try and convince you to settle easily.
- You come down a bit, possibly citing some validity in the adjuster’s claims
- A back-and-forth ensues, where you come down while they go up, until, ideally, you come to an agreement and settle.
What Happens When Negotiation Fails?
Sometimes you’ll hit an impasse and negotiation fails. In these cases, there are usually two options left: either you sit down with a neutral third-party mediator to see if you can overcome the wall, or you take the case to court. Fighting it out in court can add a long time to the process, as well as be a bitter fight that is very expensive. This is why in most cases, the parties involved work hard to resolve the process out of court.
Arguments Used by the Adjuster
Insurance adjusters will use a number of tactics to avoid paying for damages in an injury case. The most common of these include deflecting liability—claiming that the accident was partially or entirely your fault, and not their client’s—the idea that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim, that your medical treatment isn’t as extensive as you claim, or that the policy doesn’t cover the accident.
Columbia Personal Injury Attorneys
When it comes time to refute these payment-deflection tactics, it’s important to have someone in your corner who knows not only how to prove that your injury is genuine and as extensive as you claim, but who knows how to refute those attempts to avoid payment, and get you justice for your injury as well as the full compensation to which the law entitles you. If you’re in this situation, facing a tough negotiation with an insurance adjuster, it’s never too late and the Columbia personal injury attorneys at Harris and Graves are here to help. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll conduct a free evaluation of your case to get you started.