Negotiation for Obtaining a CompensationUpdated on Tuesday 14th February 2017
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Victims of car accidents in Los Angeles or those who have suffered from other types of traumatic events are entitled to ask for compensations for their losses. Sometimes the victim chooses to negotiate to obtain a compensation for the personal injury before going to court or even before filing a claim.
The key to obtaining the right amount of compensations is to know what you can ask for. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are able to help you claim the rightful amount of monetary compensations if you have been the victim of an accident in Los Angeles or in another part of California.
Injury claim negotiation with the help of a Los Angeles personal injury attorney
Before deciding to file a lawsuit for a personal injury, you should take the time and consider reaching an agreement with the defendant. You can take this step to your advantage as it can save the time and cost needed to initiate and complete a court trial. This informal settlement can still cover all your expenses if you have the help of a qualified professional who can help you throughout the negotiation process.
The negotiation can take place between the plaintiff and defendant (and their legal representatives) but also between the plaintiff and the insurance claim adjuster. The latter is a situation in which the insurance company’s employee will sometimes try to minimize your claim. It is not uncommon for the insurance company representative to offer you a settlement amount that is lower than what you asked for in your demand letter.
The discussions during the negotiation phase will typically cover the following topics:
- who is liable for the accident, according to negligence or strict liability;
- how much the insurance policy can cover;
- the types and extent of the injuries and the medical treatment required to treat them.
Some useful tactics for negotiating with the insurance claim adjuster include:
- be clear and concise but do not give a final demand (this will mean that the negotiation phase is over);
- provide all of the relevant evidence as medical records but be sure to make copies;
- provide the “Incident Report”, if available (it can be issued in some slip and fall cases that occur in company stores or other places);
- read the witness statements and be prepared to comment on them;
- speak to the witnesses if possible (and if relevant for your case);
- verify if and how much you lost because not being able to work while hospitalized;
- organize the documentation and papers you are planning to present; this will help you state your case and streamline the discussion.
The settlement for a personal injury case is calculated based on the type and extent of the injuries suffered by the victim. It is important to seek the right medical attention so that a medical professional can attest the true nature and extent of your injuries. Once your doctor determines the severity of your injuries, a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles can begin to calculate the compensation and start the negotiation process.
Damages that can be compensated include:
- present and future medical bills;
- lost wages;
- property damages.
In more serious cases, the victim can also ask for compensation for future economic losses that will follow as a result of the accident. The families of individuals who lost their lives in a wrongful death case can ask for compensations for funeral expenses.
Our lawyers invite you to watch the following video on how to negotiate for your compensation:
Calculating the right amount
Apart from the economic damages, the victim of an accident can also ask for compensations for non-economic losses, like physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, shock and mental anguish. After the damages have been established, the value of the claim is adjusted to other factors.
When liability is shared between the parties involved in the accident, the victim can lose important amounts of the claim. Thus it is important to determine if you are dealing with a shared fault case.
One of our personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles will help you write a demand letter to the insurer or to the other party involved in the accident. With our help, you will be able to submit a demand letter that will allow you to obtain the right value for your losses. Our lawyers will help you reach a convenient agreement or go to trial if the other party won’t agree to a settlement.
For more information about your rights as the victim of an accident in California, please contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys.