Anthony Ranken & Associates
Negotiating a Personal Injury Settlement with An Insurance Company
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it is very likely that you will be dealing with an insurance company in order to seek compensation for your damages. Settlement discussions are commonplace in personal injury insurance claims and are considered the default way to resolve your dispute before deciding to take the next step and go to court. While retaining a Wailuku, HI personal injury attorney provides you with a very significant advantage in your personal injury case, you should still make sure that you understand the process your case is going through and how negotiations with an insurance company work.
- Understand The True Role Of An Insurance Company – It is very important for you to understand that insurance companies do not exist to help people who have been injured. An insurance company is merely business with the goal of making profits. These profits are necessary for their success, so insurance companies and their claims adjusters do not have your best interests in mind. They will do anything they can do to limit your compensation amount or find a reason to deny your claim. Keep this point in mind as you are communicating with any insurance company.
- Hire A Wailuku, HI Personal Injury Attorney To Conduct An Independent Investigation – You are going to need definite proof of fault in order to convince the insurance company that you’re entitled to compensation. This means you need to have actual evidence to back up your claim. A good personal injury attorney in Wailuku, Hawaii will collect any and all the proof that exists to show how the responsible party breached their legal duty to exercise reasonable care.
- Know The Exact Amount Of Your Losses – Some types of damages are very easy to calculate. You can calculate your medical costs by reviewing hospital bills and records of treatment. You can add up your lost wages by simply looking at your most recent paychecks. Other types of losses, however, are more difficult to calculate. Regardless, you still need to consider and calculate them when your Wailuku personal injury attorney is negotiating with an insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies will often use a specific multiplier to assess non-economic damages, including pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Educate yourself on how the claims adjuster applies this formula. It is usually based upon your economic damages. For example, if your lost wages and medical bills add up to $20,000 and the multiplier used is 2.5, your non-economic losses will be assumed to be $50,000.
- Present All Essential Documents – Your word alone isn’t enough for an insurance company. You’ll need to listen to the advice of your Wailuku, HI personal injury attorney on how to support your claim with credible documentation. This information will provide proof of your economic losses, as well as forming the basis for your non-economic damages. The standard multiplier used by insurance companies might not always work for serious, catastrophic injuries or permanent bodily harm.
- Be Prepared To Address And Defend The Weaknesses Of Your Case – Even if you are convinced that your claim is absolutely ironclad, you can expect the insurance company to find some kind of flaws, which can be used to deny payment or reduce the amount of compensation. Hawaii follows the rule of comparative negligence, which could end up reducing your financial award, if your own negligent actions contributed to the accident. An insurance company will definitely use this type of information to reject your claim. Insurance companies will also carefully review all your medical records before entering into negotiations with you or your Wailuku, HI personal injury attorney. It will be considered a weakness if you:
- Did not seek treatment for your injuries right away
- Stopped treatment early, skipped medical visits, or failed to follow your doctor’s orders
- Engaged in any type of acts to undermine your own claim
- Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney About The Statute Of Limitations In Hawaii – Hawaii has a statute of limitations that limits you to two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This time limit doesn’t directly affect negotiations but it becomes a factor if settlement discussions break down. If you can’t reach an agreement, you’ll have to file a lawsuit to recover compensation. The statute of limitations, if expired, is a complete bar to your case. Do not wait too long while you’re negotiating with the insurance company.
- Consult With A Wailuku, HI Personal Injury Attorney Every Step Of The Way – Insurance company negotiations are not simple or easy. Although research on how to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company may be helpful, it is incredibly difficult to protect your interests, if you don’t have a specialized legal background.