Whether inclement weather is not in your favor or poorly maintained walkways and staircases, slip and fall accidents have a huge potential to cause long-term spine injuries that need immediate medical attention. When you slip and fall due to an individual or a business’s negligence, such as failure to put wet floor signs or skipping on maintenance with broken handrails, it is a grave mistake to ignore it as they need to be held liable for compensation and fix the issue before others’ lives are at stake.
If you think you can contact your insurance agencies for compensation that easily, think again. When you contact law firms, appropriate negotiation is key because insurance companies have a reputation for twisting their ideologies to make a profit out of your expense. It is a universal fact that negotiation with insurance companies is not easy, so here are certain do’s and don’ts to help you out in the situation:
Do’s: Tips for Negotiating a Slip & Fall Case
An essential fact to remember is that investigation is carried out by claim adjusters and slip-and-fall lawyers, coordinating and negotiating with each other with facts. A reliable law attorney is responsible for gathering pertinent documents, researching medical treatment costs, and calculating lost income due to the injury. As deadlines for legal action approach and you don’t see any movement in the case, here are some key pointers to remember when negotiating with them:
Do Contact a Professional Slip & Fall Law Firm
The most important task you shall do during a trip and fall injury case is to heal. However, healing requires high attention towards oneself and staying out of complicated procedures, especially the legalities. In those cases, partnering with a reliable, experienced, and trained lawyers and attorneys firm like Calil Law will substitute the preparation, training, and relevant experience in law during the hour of need. They will ensure your legal rights are protected and are fought over against the court of law.
They specialize in a wide array of litigations and offer representation in court without burdening you with heavy fees. A reliable law firm will put your needs first and solve your legal problems with compassion, integrity, and mutual respect. Insurance companies will try to trick you and push the blame on you, even when you are in your hardest times. Hiring the right lawyers and attorneys will prevent insurance claim denial and underpayments. They will also ensure they provide justice at a reasonable price after the case wins and promise confidentiality of information.
Do Have a Compensation Amount in Mind
Insurance companies don’t like to put in the effort, largely because they are businesses at the end of the day. That forms the base of your next tip: make sure you and your lawyer do the calculation for them. Contacting a reliable law firm will ensure they provide professional lawyers who can calculate compensation limited to not only medical fees and monetary losses but also non-monetary losses like the future ability to work and pain and suffering.
The document where the lawyer specifies the compensation amount is called the demand letter; you must compute the minimum amount you are willing to negotiate for during negotiation pressures. However, ensure you don’t reveal this amount and try to fight for a justifiable compensation figure unless necessary.
Do Make a Counter Offer for a Higher Settlement Amount
Insurance companies often quote a compensation amount that goes lower than the amount in your head, but it is a tactic to see how low you could go so that they can feast on the rest. If you sense the amount is too low to compensate for the damage done, you can make another offer that is slightly higher but still lower than the amount you had negotiated first.
Doing so will create an impression that you are willing to settle for less. Before using this tactic, try to reason with your adjusters why the amount specified is too high and demand a brief letter highlighting all the factors that led to that amount. Try to gauge and measure the reasonableness of those factors, and eventually, both of you will reach a settlement amount that works.
Do Emphasize Emotional Points
Fall damage is one aspect, but the emotional and physical pain you suffer is a whole different matter. Emphasizing emotional points is not only an effective strategy but also a reasonable one. Ensure you describe the pain level for the injury and how the business was at fault.
Explain how the medical costs were reasonable, and end it with a long-term side effect that you have to live with. If you have a loved one who you won’t be able to take care of, you can mention the loss of consortium and other elements of pain and suffering. Whatever settlement you arrive at, confirm the terms in writing so that you have enough proof in case of a misunderstanding.
Don’Ts: What to Steer Away from When Negotiating a Slip & Fall Case
Insurance company compensation amount is always subject to ups and downs as the case develops with your lawyer. You can also settle the amount outside of court. However, insurance companies will try to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your claim to lower the amount. In those cases, here’s what to look out for:
Don’t Admit Fault in Any Given Scenario
Insurance companies start their negotiation by submitting a detailed account of what occurred before, during, and after the slip and fall case. This statement may be written or oral in a recorded format. A common tactic that questions the belief of insurance companies is to shift the bearer of the fault to make it seem like you were careless, due to which the accident had the better of you.
They do so to share the blame so that they can compensate you less than what you initially demanded. Make sure you don’t highlight your fault in any of the conversations, as doing so will open up the potential to lower the claim.
Don’t Underestimate Your Injuries
If complaining is not in your blood, get ready to change a little. The more you smile through the pain and talk less about your injuries and suffering, the lower the amount will result. Insurance companies will change your view on how severe the injuries are, so make sure you complain and describe them aptly. Doing so will ensure they take your injuries seriously. If they still won’t budge, let the medical documents handle it.
Don’t Get Too Personal
By nature and design, insurance companies engage in small talk and expect you to open up. While this may not be with harmful intent, sometimes you can slip up certain details that can reduce your compensation. There is nothing wrong in being friendly, but be mindful about what to reveal and what not to reveal, as every word will be recorded and used against you whenever possible.
They will manipulate you through their rosy talk and make you reveal your previous injuries and consequences. By doing so, they will move around the cause of the accident, being less about the current incident and more as a result of previous injuries that are outside their jurisdiction to handle.
Don’t Panic at the Sight of a Reservation of Rights Letter
Don’t panic or become overwhelmed when you receive a reservation of rights letter; it is essentially a document that states the investigation process of the claim you have issued, along with specifying the right not to exercise the claim in the rare event that the claim is outside the jurisdiction of the insurance policy.
It is a letter to protect the insurance company by clarifying that they are not liable to pay the amount of the slip and fall injury that is not in their policy to handle. It is essentially a “don’t get your hopes up if things don’t go your way” alarm so that they stay liable to compensate.
Claim adjusters may ignore demand letters and deny any compensation for the liability. Another point to remember is to stay flexible, but not too much. In the rare occasions where the claim adjuster has highlighted an aspect that you hadn’t considered before, you may have to lower that amount. Before knowing what to do and what not to do, you need to understand that negotiation does not have to be an intimidating process- they are just phone calls. Contacting a reliable law firm will support your claim and fight on your behalf.