Tips for Receiving a Good Settlement


When dealing with personal injury claims, the main goal is reaching a settlement outside of court. Litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and risky. It can ultimately leave a victim with a grand total of $0, or even a negative balance as there are additional legal expenses to pay regardless of win or lose status. This is a highly rare circumstance, but the reality is that the majority of personal injury claims, especially car accident claims, are settled outside of court through good faith negotiations.

Personal injury is the result of negligence or recklessness on behalf of another party, and for that there are many consequences. From losing time at work to piling up medical bills, it's not something you should accept without a fight. So what is the key to a successful settlement? Although it is ill-advised in your time of need to negotiate with an insurance company yourself, it is possible to do so. Keep these 6 considerations in mind and know when to engage an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Calculate a settlement amount

Part of the process of filing a personal injury claim is to fill out a settlement demand letter stating all the facts and conditions about your case, including the accident and medical treatment you need. This is the most important document you fill out during the process. Think of it as your best chance to present your case to the insurance company of the person or entity at fault. In this letter, you typically include a sum of the medical expenses and lost wages you've endured. For negotiation purposes, this amount is usually considerably higher than what you should be willing to accept.

Do not accept the first offer

Personal injury claim negotiations function as any others -- the first offer is typically a low-ball offer and should not be accepted. It is standard practice for insurance adjustors to either offer very inadequate sums or deny the claim altogether. This is a test to see if you understand the value of your claim and also to find out your degree of desperation. Many who accept the first offer need the money badly, but they miss out on a substantial reward.

There are times when the first offer seems reasonable, but is still too low. At this point it is fair to make a counteroffer that is slightly below your original sum. When both parties engage in a reasonable manner they will eventually meet in the middle and reach a fair deal.

Seek reasons for ultra-low offer

If the first offer was nowhere near reasonable, ask the insurance adjustor to explain why the sum is so low. Take notes of the conversation and respond to each of the points the adjustor made in a written response. Take into consideration the points made, but before you budge, see if the adjustor will be flexible. The next time you speak with the adjustor, ask about the response letter you wrote him. At this point, the adjustor will feel some kind of pressure to be more fair and bargaining can resume.

If, however, this is not the case, you should consider getting an experienced personal injury attorney involved.

Appeal to emotion

When negotiating with insurance adjustors, be sure to paint a clear picture for them of how your injury has affected your life. If you have neglected to perform certain duties for your child, mention how your child has suffered as a result. If you have photographs of the scene of the accident, be sure they receive it.


Waiting is all part of the negotiation process, and it is something you have to endure. Never reduce your demand more than once between communications. Even if you have not heard from the adjustor recently, you must wait for them to acknowledge your previous reduction before changing your demand again. No matter what scenario you are negotiating for, this is just bad practice. If you feel your negotiation is not being taken seriously, engage a New Jersey personal injury lawyer.

When to definitely speak with an attorney

You should especially seek legal counsel from a Garden State personal injury lawyer in the following scenarios:

  • Compensation being demanded exceeds $10,000
  • You seek future damages for medical treatments and further lost income
  • It is not clear who was at fault

At The Law Offices of James Vasquez, Attorney James Vasquez is committed to your case. As a former prosecutor, he has extensive experience on both sides of the legal fence, and has won huge sums for his clients. From medication errors to truck accidents, James Vasquez is the attorney you need in Clifton, New Jersey. You don't pay him until he gets YOU paid! Call 862-247-8711 for a free legal consultation today.