How do I go about negotiating the insurance settlement in an auto accident?


Granted that you have given the insurance adjuster the documents that were requested, it might now be necessary to negotiate a settlement on your claim. Should you already have filed for a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer for property damage to your car or physical injury or both, things can get complicated.

Usually, the adjuster will start things up with an offer of a certain amount to settle. But if you have done your assignment and have an exact idea what your claim is worth, you need not wait for any offer. You write down the figure in a demand letter.

The response of the adjuster will be delivered eventually with the other party’s counter-offer. Should you agree on an amount, then it will not be necessary to go to the next level of negotiations as you settle things.

If the adjuster gives you an offer way below what you expected or believe your claim’s real value is, you stretch negotiations. Adjusters already have a figure in mind that serves as their idea of a settlement, but they will characteristically start with a much lower amount. It is part of their job to get a settlement for the lowest possible amount. The negotiations will go back-and-forth and cause a lot of frayed nerves. When you reach the limits of the other party’s settlement range, they will not make any more offers. You have reached a deadlock.

Even if you are at this stage of the negotiations and still without a possible settlement in the horizon, there are things you can do to bring matters much closer to a settlement.

You can ask for advice from an auto-accident lawyer. He could tell you if the amount you seek is a reasonable, with the facts of the case and available documentation considered. On the event that you feel like going on with the negotiations without the aid of a lawyer, send your insurer a letter asking them to back up the amount of your claim. It is better if you incorporate additional documents and information that were not presented up to that time.