Thursday, April 21, 2011

How To Negotiate A Fair Settlement

How to Negotiate Settlements Without an Attorney


A personal injury caused by the negligence of someone else is an ordeal. In most instances, there is liability insurance coverage to pay the innocent claimant for damages. If an individual decides to pursue a claim on their own without an attorney, they need to understand the law, remedies available and how to submit a demand package.

Step 1

Know All Damages Allowed By Law

The law in every state allows recovery from the at-fault party for damages incurred. Any related out-of-pocket expenses are to be reimbursed to the injured party. The out-of-pocket expenses to consider are medical expenses, including travel costs, property damages and related drug costs. Lost wages from work are also recoverable. And subjective damages for a reasonable amount for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life are to considered.

Step 2

Provide Complete Medical Records and Bills

If an individual is pursuing a claim without an attorney, then it will be their responsibility to document their losses. To go forward with a settlement demand, the injured party will have to have medical records and copies of itemized medical bills and prescription drug charges. The doctor's records should reflect specifics of the injury and a causal connection to the incident that was caused by the at-fault party and the doctor's final prognosis.

Step 3

Provide Documentation Of Lost Wages

The innocent party should also recover for lost wages resulting from time away from work caused by dealing with the accident at issue. The treating doctor needs to address the claimant's inability to work because of the injury at issue. And corresponding written documentation needs to be supplied by the claimant's employer regarding the lost time away from work and the average amount of the injured party's normal pay.

Step 4

Prepare Demand Package Documenting All Injuries

Once a party knows the full extent of their injuries related to the act of the at-fault party's negligence, then the demand package has to be prepared and submitted to the liability insurance carrier. The package provides written documentation for all out-of-pocket damages and a reasonable demand for pain and suffering, which, depending on the injury, could be as much as ten times the actual out-of-pocket expenses.

Step 5

Negotiate with an Adjuster to Arrive at a Fair Settlement

An adjuster will be assigned to the claim and will make contact with the injured claimant requesting a statement and copies of all documents related to the claimant's losses. Ultimately, the final demand package with the related documents is provided to the adjuster, who will negotiate with the claimant to arrive at a fair and reasonable final dollar settlement, evidenced by a documented and executed release signed by the claimant.

David Burlison practiced law for 25 years In Tennessee and Mississippi. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, and once lived and worked in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has published numerous articles with Demand Studios, Ezine Articles, GoTo Articles and Hubpages. His publications have covered subjects dealing with law, travel and various social issues.

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