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If you are in a motor vehicle accident and seek compensation from an insurance company, it is possible you’ll have to enter into a process of negotiation. In this article, we define negotiation and offer tips for having successful negotiations with auto insurers. 

Key Takeaways

  • Negotiation is the process of two parties with opposing interests coming to an agreement 
  • In a motor vehicle accident, negotiations happen when the individual requesting compensation is not satisfied with the offer made by the insurance company 
  • To negotiate as successfully as possible, it is recommended to work with a motor vehicle accident attorney 

What Is Negotiation?

Negotiation refers to the process of two parties bargaining in order to come to an agreement. Often, this is a preliminary step to entering into a contract or settling a lawsuit rather than going to court. The most common thing negotiated is how much money or compensation either party will owe to the other one. Both parties represent their interest in paying as little money as possible or receiving as much compensation as possible. 

Negotiation in Motor Vehicle Accidents

In a motor vehicle accident, if either party files a claim for compensation to either their or the other party’s insurance provider, it often leads to a process of negotiation. This process begins when an individual demands compensation from an insurer. Upon receipt of this demand, the insurance company will assign an adjuster to the case to investigate and determine who was to blame for the accident. As part of this process, the adjuster will review evidence such as witness statements, medical records, police reports, photographs, and videos. 

Once the adjuster has finished their investigation, they will make a determination about how much they offer to compensate the insured. If the individual is unsatisfied with this offer, they may begin a process of negotiation. This can be done with or without legal counsel representing the parties to the car accident. However, if you want to increase your chances of receiving the best and fairest payout, it is highly recommended to retain an attorney for your negotiations process. 

Some tips for successfully negotiating motor vehicle accident insurance claims include:

  • File a claim as soon as possible after the car accident so you remember the details of what happened
  • Keep accurate records such as repair bills, photos and videos of the scene, medical records, and so on
  • Know your insurance policy and its stipulations
  • Understand that the insurance adjuster represents the interests of the insurance company, not you
  • Establish a minimum and maximum possible payout that you are comfortable with based on the extent of the losses caused by the accident
  • Your first payout demand should be for more than the actual payout you’re seeking, as the insurer will almost certainly offer less than you ask for
  • Never accept the first offer
  • Get everything in writing 
  • Be patient and persistent, realizing that the negotiation process can take months 
  • Work with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney who will represent your interests 

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