While personal injury cases in Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton as well as other communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area are oftentimes complex, there are a number of tips for maximizing your recovery in the settlement process to be aware of. Though your lawyer would try his/her best to do that, the following tips could be extremely helpful when it comes to maximizing your personal injury settlement.
If you haven’t retained a personal injury lawyer, now is the time to do so – it is very difficult to get the settlement you have in mind if you haven’t retained a personal injury lawyer to represent you and your case. Not only do they have the experience and the expertise necessary to winning your case, they will ensure that your rights to fair and reasonable compensation are protected. Having a professional in your corner that can understand the law is essential.
Go into negotiations knowing how much you will settle for – naturally you will have an ideal amount in mind but you will probably have to decrease that slightly in order for the insurance company to settle with you. Go with the amount that your lawyer feels your case is worthy but have a bottom line amount (the lowest amount your will settle for) in mind. Only you and your lawyer should know what your bottom line amount is. Do not share this figure with the insurance company adjuster.
Emphasize the emotional points that favor your case – be sure to mention any emotional strong points that support your settlement amount. If you sent the adjuster a letter with photos of your injuries or your badly damaged vehicle, be sure that you refer to these during negotiations. While it is almost impossible to place a dollar value on these emotional points, they can be helpful in getting the settlement you deserve.
Never accept the first offer – it goes without saying that the adjuster is going to low ball your settlement amount and while you may be anxious to settle, you could be cheating yourself out of thousands of dollars by jumping at the first offer. However, keep in mind that you already know what your claim is worth based on your lawyer’s calculations. If the adjuster’s initial offer is reasonable but still too low, be prepared to respond with a counteroffer immediately.
Make the adjuster validate a low offer – if the initial offer is so low that you know it’s a negotiating tactic or that they are testing you to see if you really know the value of your case, tell him or her to justify the amount they offered. Keep notes during the course of the conversation. Depending on their reasons for offering the amount they did, you may want to lower your demand amount slightly.
Once you and the insurance company adjuster have agreed on a settlement amount, put everything in writing in a confirmation letter to the adjuster.