A demand letter will be written to the person who caused the injuries, as well as to the individual’s insurance company, following the finding of your injuries and other losses. Assume you’re dealing with an insurance company for this essay’s purposes.
The insurance company may make a ridiculously cheap (“low-ball”) settlement offer in response to your letter of demand. Whether or not you receive a fair settlement depends heavily on how you react to this initial settlement offer.
Analyze the offer with a cool approach
A bad personal injury settlement offer is usually a bad idea to respond to with an emotional outburst, and accepting it could be even worse. If you’re dealing with an insurance claims adjuster or a defense attorney, it’s critical to maintain a professional relationship despite your frustration or financial necessity. Remember that an insurance company’s initial settlement offer is usually just the beginning of the negotiation process. Observe the process through which an insurance adjuster comes to a settlement offer.
Respond in writing
Make many inquiries about the adjuster’s reasoning for making the low-ball offer over the phone or via email before writing an official response. Use these questions as a guidance when you’re writing your formal response and counteroffer.
Lack of details about injuries or other losses claimed could explain a low initial offer. If this is the case, be sure to provide the adjuster with a complete set of medical bills, proof of missed wages, and any other relevant information.
If you didn’t do so in your initial demand letter, you might want to concentrate on the more subjective and emotional parts of your case in your response and counteroffer. There is no need to repeat the facts of the accident or the medical treatment you received in your original demand letter. For example, your wrist surgery may have been paid for, but you may not have received compensation for the long-term effects of your injuries. Consequently, non-economic losses such as “pain and suffering” and other emotional ramifications of what happened may be the focus of your formal follow-up correspondence. Painting may no longer be an enjoyable pastime for you. Based on the circumstances, one’s emotional state will, of course, be different. Get an idea of what this type of letter can look like by reading this sample response letter on Nolo.com (A new browser tab or window will open to reveal this link.)
Put together a counter-proposal
Response to a low personal injury settlement offer should not be done by way of an excessively high counteroffer. Personal injury compensation negotiations necessitate a professional demeanor and meticulous attention to detail. Consider the amount you believe you are entitled to, the limits of your insurance coverage, and the probable assets of the at-fault person when deciding how much compensation you should seek. Your injuries may have led you to assume that you are entitled to $40,000 in compensation. In spite of this, it is possible that the other party’s insurance coverage limits are low. $20,000 is possible from the insurance company in this case. $30,000 to $35,000 would be a reasonable counteroffer.
The counteroffer in a personal injury case may be more than one. Contrary to popular belief, the back-and-forth that occurs throughout a personal injury settlement is an essential part of the process.
Until you’ve been healed, don’t give up!
You should not accept an insurance company’s settlement offer until you have completely healed from your injuries, or at the absolute least understand the full nature and degree of your injuries, in order for the settlement to cover any future medical care required. Once you accept the settlement and sign the release, you can no longer pursue a personal injury case or seek additional compensation. This is why Alabama slip and fall accident attorneys always recommend discussing your case with a legal professional before agreeing to anything.