The answer to the title question is absolutely resounding. In fact, not only can an insurance company’s settlement offer be negotiated, it definitely should be. Why? Because insurance companies are notorious for making initial lowball settlement offers. They also often drag their feet with regard to making subsequent ever-increasing settlement offers.
While you can, if you wish, attempt to negotiate with the insurance company yourself, your best interests dictate that you hire an experienced local car accident lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. He or she does, after all, likely have considerably more negotiating experience than you do.
Additionally, he or she likely has negotiated with this particular insurance company in the past when representing other injured clients and is therefore familiar with how its insurance adjusters treat injuries such as yours and how much they’re willing to increase their settlement offer in the end so as to avoid going to trial.
Common Points of Negotiation
Some insurance companies like to assign values to different types of injuries. For instance, a broken arm is worth x number of dollars, a soft tissue injury such as whiplash is worth a number of dollars, and a catastrophic injury such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury is worth z number of dollars.
Other companies like to take the per diem approach, paying you so much per day from the date of the accident until the date when you have achieved the maximum recovery possible.
Still, others use the multiplier method. Here they add up all your economic damages, sometimes called actual damages or special damages depending on the state in which you live. These include such things as your medical bills and lost wages.
They then multiply the total by a multiplier, generally from one to five depending on the seriousness of your injury. The product of this multiplication then represents your noneconomic damages, such as for pain and suffering. This number, in turn, is added to your economic damages to arrive at the value of your case.
Which method to use is one point of negotiation between the insurance company and your lawyer. The most important negotiation point, however, regards the resulting figures themselves.
Naturally, the insurance adjuster’s job is to pay you the least amount of money possible. Conversely, your lawyer’s job is to get you the highest settlement possible so as to give you the compensation you need and deserve.
If you have been involved in a truck accident and are unsure of the next steps you should take then speaking with a truck accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ from a law firm like Kamper & Estrada, PLLC could help you get a sufficient understanding of your legal options.