Why You Need to Avoid Rushing into a Settlement - By: Jim Brown
If an injury lawyer were so inclined, he or she could make quite a bit more money telling potential clients taht they need an attorney to help deal with insurance companies. However that claim would be a lie, because frankly you don't always need an attorney. If you're in a little fender bender a few tips on negotiation would be helpful, but you probably won't have a legitimate lawsuit on your hands. No lawsuit probably means you don't need an attorney. There are however still many cases where you will need an attorney.
Whether or not you hire an attorney you should know the five major errors that will RUIN your chance of getting help with medical bills, lost wages, and effectively negotiating with your insurance adjuster. First lets look at one of the more common mistakes: rushing to settle with the adjuster.
Most people will have a sense of urgency to settle their case. Chances are you really need that settlement check. Between medical bills, car repairs, or the wages you lose from missing work due to injury you can end up really hurting for cash. All of this is very understandable, but you must resist the temptation to settle. The insurance company deals with this stuff every day, and they know people are in a hurry to settle. They'll give you a low ball offer hoping you take it, this is how they try and take advantage of you.
Insurance adjusters are clever. They may try tactics like calling you early in the morning, when you're on the way to work, or calling your work number near the end of the day. They want to catch you when you're in a hurry because they think you'll be more likely to take an offer without thinking it through or asking questions. Don't fall their ruse. You're going to have to talk to them eventually, but do it on your terms. When they reach you at an inconvenient time, reschedule for a time that works better for you, or ignore the call and get back to them at a more convenient time. You can also turn their own tactics against them. After you decide on a settlement number you believe to be fair, call the insurance adjuster at 4:45 on a Friday afternoon. They may just accept the offer so they can go home, if they have the authority to do so. Remember to be polite, we may often point out the negatives of dealing with the insurance adjuster, but they're people too.
The time of year is also something important to consider. During the holidays a lot of sudden expenses pop up. You're buying presents for family and friends, so having cash in hand is appealing even if you know you are owed more. The insurance companies are well aware of this. They may urge you to accept an offer so that they can "get this settled by the end of the year."."
You know what is rightfully owed to you. Do not fall into their traps. Negotiating with the insurance companies is tricky. Make sure you don't make simple mistakes that can come back to haunt you.
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Author Resource :
James Brown is a Missouri injury lawyer based in St. Louis. Before you are hurt in a car accident you need to know the most common mistakes car accident victims make when talking to the insurance adjuster that ruin their accident claims. You can request a free copy of his Missouri accident guide, "I Survived! The Crash Victims Guide to Surviving the Aftermath" at his website http://www.themissouriinjurylawyer.com .