After an accident that results in an injury or property damage, you may need to submit a claim with an insurance agency. In most situations, insurers will try to minimize the amount of compensation they provide to you, and so you should understand the negotiation process. It’s best to work with an experienced personal injury attorney, who will represent you throughout the process and help ensure the best possible outcome.
The first step in the process is to send a demand letter and any relevant documentation to the insurance company. After that, the insurance adjuster and your attorney will discuss the merits of the claim. The adjuster may offer to settle the claim for less than your requested amount, and it’s your lawyer’s job to counter with a higher number — but usually lower than the initial amount.
A few meetings or phone calls may be necessary to complete this process, but in the end, your attorney (on your behalf) and the adjuster will almost always come to an agreement on the amount that will be paid out.
One common step an insurance company will take is to issue a “reservation of rights” letter, informing you that the insurer is investigating the claim and that it may not provide you with any compensation if your claim does not qualify. If you receive this letter, don’t worry — it’s a common tactic in the negotiation process. It does not mean that you are less likely to receive compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Again, working with a personal injury attorney is incredibly helpful, as this professional will know how to highlight the merits of your claim and maximize how much you receive from the insurance company. And if the negotiation process stalls, your lawyer can represent you if you need to file lawsuit.
For further guidance on the steps you should take after a serious accident, meet with our dedicated Metro Atlanta personal injury attorney.
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