Just as there are good salespeople, there are good negotiators. Many people seek out careers in law because of their negotiating skills and that they can exercise them to help people who suffered at the hands of someone else. If you’re having trouble with settlement negotiations after an accident, contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer for help.
Here are some top tips for settling for fair or reasonable settlement negotiations. It’s common that insurance companies make that settlement check seem as though it’s not up for negotiation. That’s not true. You can always argue, debate, or contest a settlement amount made by your insurance company. Use these tips in skills or resources professional negotiators to ensure that you have the best chance at a fair compensation check.
Have a Goal and a Bottom Line
Going into the negotiation or starting that phone call with the goal of getting the best deal is a terrible idea. You should have one solid figure that is your goal and be prepared to defend that goal. But, you should also have a reasonable amount that you would “settle” for which will cover all of your damages.
Before you start your negotiations, you should have well-thought-out explanations for your demand. That should represent your best-case scenario. Then you should have the bare minimum to cover your damages, and that should be your bottom line. It’s critical that as you go through your negotiations, you’re not allowing either one to take a greater precedent. You should, of course, fight for the goal, but don’t walk away from negotiations because of a thousand dollar difference.
Be Wary of Meeting “Half-Way”
There’s something very familiar and comfortable with compromise. People will usually happily accept a 50/50 deal or meet someone half-way. The feeling is that the other person is missing out on just as much. But that’s not the case at all. When you’re dealing with insurance companies, you missing out on anything is for their benefit.
A settlement is only considered fair when there is a good reason for a lower number. For example, if you were speeding, then you may justify reducing a settlement because you could have contributed to the damage. However, someone returning your demand with a settlement offer of half your demand because they don’t want to pay isn’t fair.
It’s also important that you don’t offer a half-way compromise, which is rather common in beginning negotiators.
A Successful Negotiator Asks Questions About Perspective
A negotiation should be more of an interview than a back-and-forth of demands. What you’ll want to hear is their justification for their suggestion. Good negotiators will ask questions that challenge the difference between the offer and the goal amount.
Questions such as, “Why is the cost of physical therapy not included? The medical team noted that it was necessary.” What you’ll want to get down to is how the other side understands the situation. What the insurance company expects in terms of a resolution definitely comes from a place. Remember the sage advice from Steven Covey, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Consider Alternative Payment
One monetary payout is not always the solution. There are other forms of currency in resolving a case. For example, an insurance company may be able to arrange for a significant decrease in medical charges. Through negotiations, you may demand $35,000 to pay for your medical bills. But, through negotiations, the insurance company could explain that they’ve negotiated those bills down to $20,000, so there’s no reason for the additional $15,000 in your demand.
These alternative payments aren’t often explained very well, especially when the consumer is working directly in negotiations. Car accident attorneys understand that insurance companies can negotiate prices with medical networks and even mechanics. But often, the consumers don’t know that unless someone stops to explain the process and system to them.
Find Support From a Professional for Settlement Negotiations
Getting a professional negotiator involved is almost always advisable. Although you can certainly negotiate for a higher settlement on your own, there’s a lot that you can’t do alone. With settlement negotiations you need to take the power away from the insurance company. The insurance company will appear or confront you with a team of high-powered and aggressive attorneys. When you respond with a charismatic and assertive lawyer, they’ll immediately know that you’re not that playing games.
On that note, you should consider bringing in the skilled attorneys of John B Jackson. At our Atlanta personal injury law office, we’re happy to have our highly respected team fight for your fair compensation or full resolution through a court case.