Your Options When Offered a Small Personal Injury Compensation
You can know how much compensation to demand from the party that caused your injuries after going through your medical documents and receipts of others costs. Your lawyer can help you write a demand letter indicating how the accident happened and the amount of compensation you need.
In most cases, the insurance company will respond with a counter offer. After examining all the evidence of your personal injury claim, they may feel that the amount you are asking for is too high and may offer to settle with a much lower amount. If the insurance company offers a lower settlement, you should not accept it nor should you panic. Most personal injury lawyers will tell you that this is a ploy commonly used by insurance companies to get you to accept the lower settlement. Instead, here is what you can do:
i) Analyze the offer when you are calm
The outcome of your case will depend on whether or not you accept the offer of the insurance company. You should therefore think carefully before responding to the offer. Do not be outraged with the offer, no matter how small it is. Remain professional at all times, as anything less will make you seem desperate for money, something that insurance companies can smell a mile away.
ii) Get back to the insurance company in writing
Your accident lawyer will first want to know why the insurance company offered a smaller settlement before proceeding with the next step. For example, the insurance company may point out that the evidence provided is not sufficient to determine your innocence in the accident.
Once these justifications are received, your personal injury lawyer will now be better placed to source for additional documents where necessary, and formulate an official response to the initial offer. Your lawyer should respond to the insurance company in writing and address any issues that may have been raised in the previous communication.
iii) Propose a counter offer
In the response letter, your attorney should indicate a new offer that you may have come to an agreement on, usually lower than the first offer but higher than what the insurance company proposed. At this juncture, the case will be in the negotiation stage and your attorney will try his best to get you a reasonable settlement for your injuries.
The insurance company may not yield to the demands of your attorneys quick and may also offer a counter offer. This is the nature of negotiations in a personal injury case.
iv) Get the agreement in writing
When the negotiations are successful, your attorney will draft an agreement letter and keep a copy on your behalf. The agreement will state how much should be paid and within what time period.
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