4 Tips For Negotiating A Fair Settlement With The Other Driver's Insurance Company

Posted on: 17 May 2016

If you are not happy with the settlement offer from the driver who caused the accident's insurance company following a car accident, there are steps you can take. Here are four tips that will help you negotiate a fair settlement offer with their insurance company.

#1 Know What Number You Are Aiming For

The first thing you need to do is figure out what number you want the insurance company to offer you and why. Just claiming that the insurance company's offer is not fair is not going to get you what you are after. You need to know what number you are looking for and why.

You can figure out a fair settlement offer by adding up all the costs that you incurred due to your accident. Add up the cost of your medical treatment, car repairs or replacement cost, rental vehicle costs, and lost wages. If you suffered an injury that is going to require long-term medical care, research the cost of that treatment for the long term and add that to the figure. If the accident will prevent you from working in your field, figure out the amount of wages and benefits you will have lost out on for the rest of your life, and add that to you total figure. Finally, you can also try to quantify the pain and suffering that you experienced into your final figure. 

Make sure you have documents to back up your numbers and version of a fair settlement offer.

#2 Write A Demand Letter

The second thing you need to do is write a demand letter and give it to the other driver's insurance company. In your demand letter, you need to let them know what you want to be compensated for. Explain all the medical treatment that you needed to undergo due to the accident. Detail the wages that you lost due to the accident. Explain how the accident will affect you in the long term. 

Finally, explain how much you want to be compensated for. The insurance company is going to negotiate with you, so make sure that your offer is 50% to 100% more than you are actually willing to accept so you have room to negotiate and go back and forth with them.

#3 Don't Feel Like You Have To Accept The First Settlement Offer

Third, don't feel like you have to accept the first settlement offer, especially if it is below what you have figured out is a fair settlement amount. Ask them to justify their offer to you in writing. If the offer is too low, respond to each of their reasons for giving you a low offer in a counter letter where you refuse their offer. You can counter with an offer that was lower than your first amount, but higher than what the insurance company is offering you, and still within the range you determined was fair.

If you still don't get a reasonable offer from the other driver's insurance company, contact a lawyer like one from The Best and Westover to help you with the negotiation process.