Following a car accident in Nevada, you will have to face the often stressful and intimidating process of negotiations with an auto insurance claims adjuster. It is very helpful to have a Nevada personal injury attorney on your side in these cases. In some situations, the matter is small enough to handle without the aid of an attorney, but other cases are more serious and will benefit from qualified legal representation to prove the extent of your injuries and damages.
The job of an insurance adjuster
The job of an insurance adjuster is to evaluate the value of your car accident claim by appraising the value of your vehicle damages, the value of repairs, and the extent of your injuries to reach a mutually acceptable settlement figure and close your case.
It is in the best interests of the insurance company and the claims adjusters to get you to settle for a very low amount. It’s important to understand that the adjuster is not on your side, even if he or she seems to be. You have negotiate with the knowledge that you are dealing with someone who doesn’t want to make sure that you’re fairly compensated, but only to ensure that you settle low. He or she will not be truly focused on your damages and injuries. They only want to minimize the cost to the insurance company by convincing you to settle quickly and settle for a low amount.
How to be prepared
The insurance adjuster is going to be ready to argue against your damages and begin a negotiation with themselves ahead of you. Don’t let this happen. Be just as prepared as they are if not more so. Come into the negotiation with all of the information you have, and gather as much evidence as you can. Do not even speak to the claims adjuster without your accident report, repair bills, damage estimates, medical records, and any other records that will help on hand. Determine what your actual damages are and add them up to be able to speak to the insurance adjuster with an informed perspective.
Being prepared is the best way to avoid becoming overwhelmed with the facts and figures that the adjuster will throw at you. You need to be able to argue the reasoning behind your request for more money and enough evidence to prove that you are right to seek it.
Start negotiations high
It is equally important to leave room for maneuvering in negotiation. The first offer you make is going to be the ceiling of your negotiation which will go lower from this point. That’s why you need to start with a figure that is higher than what you will actually need. Otherwise, you can end up with a settlement that is much less than what you need and deserve.
Take your time
While a claims adjuster is going to be dealing with a high volume of cases and will be very busy, they are focused on closing those claims quickly to move on to the next. However, this does not mean that you need to rush the process. Rushing through it is also a tactic used by insurance companies to ensure that you settle low. The earlier you settle, the lower your settlement is likely to be. They will even pressure into an early settlement, but you don’t have to fall for this. Wait until you have all of your medical bills and other expenses ready. You may need future medical care, and you need to know about this too before you settle. Remember that once you agree to a settlement, you can’t go back and ask for more money at a later date. Take your time with negotiation. Still, remember that there is a statute of limitations for each case, so you need to know how much time you have to work with. Consulting a personal injury attorney is a good way to find out exactly how much time you can spend in negotiation before you reach the statute of limitations and can no longer do anything.
Never settle for less
If an insurance company refuses to negotiate to an amount that will cover your damages and injuries, then you may need to take your case to trial with a formal lawsuit. This is where you need a good attorney on your side. The attorney can file a lawsuit for you and potentially inspire the insurance company to offer more money to avoid taking the case to court. Generally, the insurance company won’t take any lawsuit threats seriously until you’ve got an attorney to handle your case. Once you have one, you can count on having a greater advantage in your negotiations.
If you have questions about the unique nature of your own case, the statute of limitations, and the process of negotiation, contact a Las Vegas personal injury attorney.