TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR INSURANCE TERMS
In case of accidents and other unwanted occurrences, agreement among parties regarding insurance settlements always stretch longer than it should, especially when disputes arise and the matter reaches the courts. The whole process can become a lot more complicated, compared to what could have been a faster arrangement if you yourself drafted the conditions and payments. This capability is often handy when minor injuries are incurred or if the side at fault is obvious. However, in cases of permanent disability or serious damages, it is highly recommended to seek the help of a professional, since these will take complex procedures.
If you consider your case as clear and you are confident enough to represent yourself, certain guidelines can be of help for a smooth negotiation.
First, keep all your records. From medical papers to photographs of the scene, it will be handy and convenient to be able to bring these out as evidence if necessary. Make sure to stash multiple copies of these documents, as well as bills and receipt of fees. One crucial reminder: never give any recorded statements or post anything about the mishap on social media, as other people can twist this against you.
Calculate your needed payments fairly. Jot down expenses that should be covered such as hospital fees, lost income, and property damage. To determine its value, a helpful tip would be to multiply their total between 1.5 to 5, depending on the level of impact. A higher figure would be acceptable for lifetime impairments and a lower number for lesser ones.
Next step, send a letter of demand to the insurance firm. Politely narrate what happened, and explain why your estimated payment amounted to that certain sum by a detailed citation of losses and provide an argument on why the defendant is liable for these.
Sometimes, companies may offer you an alternative solution, wherein it is suggested you ask for a sum 25%-100% higher than the minimum amount you would accept, so long as it is reasonable. The decision will always be up to you on whether to take the counteroffer or not, but take into account that your compensation may be reduced if it is proven in court that you have some degree of contribution to the accident. Having a single percentage of fault during the incident will not win you awards in a lawsuit, while a 50% and above range will not provide you with any damage payout. You also need to give a response on why you think an offer is unfair and consult an attorney in case both sides are not reaching a deal after repeated discussions.
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