You need money to cover your medical bills and day-to-day expenses after you’ve been injured, however you can’t work or can only work a limited amount. The sooner you get your money, the better. At the same time, the insurance company isn’t exactly willing to offer you a reasonable amount or the amount that your case is worth, at least not right away. Or, they might try to delay making an offer, so that you become more desperate or strapped for cash.
Your attorney should help you negotiate with the insurance company to get the best settlement possible for your case. There are a few things you can do to get the insurance provider to increase the amount it offers you.
Have Evidence to Back up Your Claim
Make sure to keep all of the documentation. An insurance company is unlikely to pay you anything if you don’t have documentation to back up your claim. You can dramatically increase your chances of getting paid by presenting the company with all the details of the accident, including the police report, your medical records and your insurance policy. Getting all of your documentation to your attorney, is the first step towards negotiating a settlement.
Your attorney can also have a paralegal do some research to see what the insurance company paid out in cases similar to yours. For example, if the company is offering you $50,000, but has paid out $150,000 in several previous cases, you can use that information to strengthen your case and increase your settlement amount.
Aim High With Your Request
One of the first rules of negotiating is never to lead with the amount you hope to get. Instead, request an amount that is anywhere from 25 to 100 percent higher than the sum you wish to receive. If you start by telling the insurance company the minimum amount you’ll accept, things can only go down from there. When you do make a high request, don’t do anything that will let the insurance company know what the lowest amount is that you’ll accept. You want to keep as much negotiating power on your side as possible.
Don’t Take the First Offer
Since you need money, it can be exciting when the insurance company responds with an offer, even if that offer is much lower than what you wanted. The second rule of negotiating a settlement is never to take the first amount offered you. Just as you requested an amount that is higher you actually anticipate, the insurance company’s first offer is actually lower than what they are prepared to pay you.
Insurance companies want to drag out the settlement, as they know most plaintiffs will cave in early and settle for less because they need the money. As mentioned above, the first offer is always low and you need to give your attorney time to get the right settlement. You should wait for your attorney to tell you that it’s fair settlement. Bottom line – make sure your mindset is set to be patient.
Find Funding to Tide You Over
You do have funding options to help you pay bills while you wait to get the best settlement offer possible. For example, pre-settlement funding is available and can be used to pay any of your bills. A non-recourse funding option, pre-settlement funding is not a loan and you only need to pay the money back if you win your case. Often, funding amounts are between 10 and 15 percent of your expected settlement.
Talk to your attorney to learn more about how to negotiate with an insurance company and to see if pre-settlement funding is the right choice for you. Cherokee Funding can walk you through the application and get your money to you within 24 hours of approval. Contact us today for more details and to apply.