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April 15, 2022 | Gary Burger

How to Negotiate a Settlement With an Insurance Claims Adjuster

How to Negotiate a Settlement with an Insurance Claims Adjuster. Insurance companies are required to compensate you for damages and injuries that their policy carriers cause. But that doesn't mean they'll always give you the fair and full compensation you deserve. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and insurance adjusters are paid to pay out as little money as possible. Burger Law has over 70 years of combined experience standing up to bullies like resistant insurance companies and getting great results for our clients. If you think an insurance company isn't being fair, call Burger Law now at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Never accept a settlement offer without speaking to a personal injury lawyer first. We have offices in Chicago and St. Louis and serve clients throughout Missouri and Illinois.

If you're wondering if the insurance company's offer is fair, see how much your claim is really worth with our free personal injury calculator.

7 Tips for Dealing With Insurance companies.

In clear-cut cases where you don't have severe injuries, the insurance company may give you a fair settlement offer without much of a fight. But when you need extensive medical care, or your car is totaled, they'll come up with a lot of ways to try and devalue your claim. Below are seven tips for negotiating with an insurance claims adjuster:

  1. Know the true value of your claim.

    Insurance adjusters know that they don't need to know everything about your claim, they just need to know more than you. It's important to know all of the compensation you're entitled to, and specifics like how noneconomic damages like pain and suffering are calculated. Have a specific dollar amount in mind before speaking to them.

  2. Do not accept the first offer.

    The first offer will always be low. If you're unable to work and have a lot of medical bills, it might be tempting to take whatever you can get. But it's always better in the long run to wait for a truly fair offer. This is especially true if your medical care has not yet finished. There are options for people who need financial help quickly after an accident.

  3. Ask the adjuster specific questions about why they're offering you what they are.

    They'll tell you a lot of things meant to confuse you or convince you that their offer is fair. Make them be straightforward with you and tell you specifically what they are offering to compensate you for, and why they're not compensating you for other damages you incurred.

  4. Emphasize how the accident has affected you.

    Don't be afraid to mention the emotional impact your injury had on you. If your only car was totaled, and now you're walking or taking the bus for an hour or two every day, mention that. If you're unable to play with or care for your children the same way, mention that your child is also suffering from the accident.

  5. Have your complete records.

    It's hard to argue against facts. Have detailed records of your medical bills, and proof that the insured was at fault. Some of the pieces of evidence you should use are:

    • Medical records and medical bills
    • Police reports and accident reports
    • Photographs of your injuries and/or damage to your vehicle
    • Estimates for vehicle repair
    • Witness statements
    • Proof of lost wages
  6. Do not fall for the insurance adjuster's tricks and lies.

    They might seem like they're being reasonable and sympathetic, but often insurance adjusters use deceptive tactics or just tell bald-faced lies. Some of the lies they commonly tell are:

    • They do not have to pay for medical care if your insurance covers it.
    • They do not have to pay wage loss because you have paid time off.
    • You have to accept their offer or they will rescind their offer.
    • They'll only pay for the first six weeks of medical treatment.
  7. Know your BATNA.

    Your BATNA is your "Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement." Your BATNA in accident and injury claims is usually hiring a personal injury lawyer. Hiring a lawyer will put the insurance adjuster on their heels and know that you mean business.

An insurance adjuster may tell you that a lawyer will just take money from you. That could not be more false. One big advantage to hiring a Burger Law personal injury lawyer is that we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we take a percentage of your final compensation as settlement, and you don't pay until we win your case. That means that you can still get great legal representation no matter what your financial status is. It also means that we won't take on your case if we don't think we can get you substantially more than the insurance company is offering. Our personal injury lawyers pride themselves in giving the highest standard of legal advocacy to the injured that rivals and exceeds that of large insurance companies.

Personal Injury Lawyers | Burger Law

While there are some honest insurance companies and insurance adjusters out there, most of the time their one goal is to pay you as little money as possible. If you've been in an accident and have been injured because of somebody else's negligence, call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We know what fair offers look like, and know how to get maximum compensation for our clients.