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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

How Settlement Negotiation Works in an Injury Case | Tom Fowler Law

Understanding the ins and outs of settlement negotiations can make all the difference between receiving fair compensation and being shortchanged.

Whether it's a car accident, slip and fall, or any other mishap resulting in injury, navigating the settlement negotiation process can be daunting.

On the bright side, this post will shed light on how settlement negotiations work in most personal injury cases.

Common Damages in a Personal Injury Claim

Common Damages in a Personal Injury Claim

Before delving into negotiations, accident victims should know their rights. They can seek compensation for wounds and related expenses from the at-fault party's insurance company. This compensation may cover the following:

  • Medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Pain and suffering

  • Loss of consortium

  • Disabilities, etc.

A skilled personal injury lawyer can assess the strength of the personal injury claim. They can also gather the necessary evidence and create a compelling demand letter for the insurance company.

The demand letter is the starting point for negotiations and typically includes the amount victims can seek to settle the case. They can also answer questions such as how are personal injury settlements paid out in Iowa?

The Beginning of the Negotiation Process

After receiving the letter, the insurance adjuster representing the primary insurance carrier will review the claim details. They may respond with a settlement offer, which the victim's personal injury attorney will estimate.

Plaintiffs must consider whether the offer fairly compensates them for their injuries, medical costs, lost wages, and other damages. An experienced personal injury attorney will advise the victim to accept the offer or continue negotiations to pursue a fair settlement. They also have more information on a personal injury statute of limitations in Iowa.

Counteroffers and Negotiations

The initial settlement offer may often fall short of meeting the victim's needs. In such instances, the attorney may counter the offer and negotiate further with the insurance company.

This back-and-forth exchange can continue until both parties reach an acceptable settlement agreement. The plaintiff's attorney will try to secure a fair amount throughout this process.

Finalizing the Settlement

Once both parties reach a settlement agreement, the victim's attorney will work to finalize the terms and ensure all necessary documents are properly executed. This may involve signing a release of liability form. This document closes the case and prevents the plaintiff from seeking further compensation for the same injury.

After finalizing the deal, the accident victim can receive the agreed-upon compensation to help cover their expenses and move forward.

Factors Impacting Personal Injury Settlement Negotiations

One of the main factors that can impact negotiations is the strength of the evidence supporting personal injury claims.

Substantial evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, medical records, and expert opinions, can bolster the case. It can also increase the likelihood of securing a favorable settlement. Weak or insufficient evidence may undermine the personal injury case. On top of that, it can also weaken the victim's negotiating position.

Severity of Injuries

Insurance adjusters also consider the injuries sustained in the accident during negotiations. Severe wounds needing extensive medical treatment or long-term care result in higher settlement amounts. Minor wounds with minimal medical costs may result in lower settlement offers.

Liability and Fault

Responsibility is another critical factor in personal injury settlement negotiations. If the other party's negligence caused the accident, they may be liable for the victim's losses. However, if the plaintiff shares some fault, it can complicate negotiations and impact compensation.

Insurance Policy Limits

On the other hand, insurance policy limits can also affect negotiations. This can happen if the at-fault party's insurance coverage is insufficient to compensate the victim for their damages.

In such cases, the best personal injury lawyer in Des Moines may explore other avenues for compensation, like pursuing a claim against the victim's underinsured motorist coverage. They may also file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Three Questions an Insurance Adjuster May Ask Victims

Facing an insurance adjuster can feel like stepping into the lion's den. These professionals assess claims and protect the interests of their company. It often means assessing every detail of personal injury cases.

  • Questions About Insurance Coverage

One of the first questions an insurance adjuster may ask is about the victim's insurance coverage. They'll want to know if the plaintiff has applicable insurance policies. Victims must provide details about their health insurance or any other relevant policies they may have.

  • Questions About Liability

Another crucial aspect of the insurance adjuster's investigation is determining liability for the accident. They'll likely ask probing questions to understand the circumstances surrounding the incident and assess the degree of fault of all parties involved.

This may include questions about traffic laws, actions taken by each party, and any potential witnesses to the crash.

  • Questions About Medical Treatment History and Nature

Finally, the insurance adjuster may ask about the victim's medical treatment history and the nature of the injuries.

They'll want to know if the plaintiff received prior treatment for similar wounds and how the current injuries impact their daily activities.

Essential Tips for Negotiating with an Insurance Company

Essential Tips for Negotiating with an Insurance Company

With some know-how, victims can navigate negotiations and increase their chances of securing a fair settlement.

Being Calm

Emotions can run high following an accident. Still, it's essential to approach negotiations with a level head. Plaintiffs must avoid getting drawn into arguments or confrontations with the insurance adjuster.

Showing Persistence

It's essential not to be discouraged if the initial settlement offer falls short. Victims should advocate for their rights and push for a fair amount.

Keeping Copies

When negotiating with an insurance company, keeping thorough records and copies of all relevant documents related to the claim is crucial. This includes medical bills, treatment records, correspondence with the insurance company, etc.

Avoid Improper Insurance Company Tactics

Unfortunately, most insurance companies try to pay less than what the victim deserves. Adjusters may drag their feet in responding to communications and scheduling appointments. They also hope to pressure victims into settling quickly by delaying the process.

Another improper tactic insurance companies use is making lowball settlement offers. Personal injury attorneys can negotiate the terms. They can help victims recover the settlement amount they deserve.

Final Words

Settlement negotiation is a dynamic and often confusing process. Victims can pursue the compensation they deserve with the right approach and resources. The best way to ensure plaintiffs recover fair reimbursement is to consult a reputable firm like Tom Fowler Law.


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