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7 Things to Remember When Negotiating a Settlement with an Insurance Company After a Car Crash in Wisconsin

Getting injured in a car crash is often a traumatic and life-altering experience. The lengthy negotiation process with an insurance company can cause stress, financial concerns, and delays in the healing process.

Insurance companies always try to settle a claim for the lowest possible amount.

You must be prepared to take action to improve your odds of receiving a favorable settlement offer. Wisconsin has laws and regulations that govern car insurance and personal injury claims, and having an experienced Appleton car crash lawyer will work in your favor when negotiating.

Since insurance companies employ their own experts for negotiations, it is important to hire an experienced car crash lawyer in Appleton to prepare and negotiate on your behalf. To help you know what transpires in negotiations, we will look at seven crucial aspects to remember when talking with an insurance company representative.

1. Connect Your Injuries to the Accident

Connecting your injuries to the accident requires an explanation of your physical and emotional well-being before and after the accident. For example, let’s assume that before the car crash, you never had any physical problems. You could do most activities well, including playing sports. After the crash, your injuries prevent you from playing sports altogether and you now experience pain performing common household chores. 

To support your current physical state, you need to have medical documentation of these injuries and when and how they occurred. Our Wisconsin car accident lawyers can help you get a thorough medical report that will prevent the insurance adjuster from denying the claim by saying the injuries are unrelated to the accident. 

2. Understanding the Four Components of Negligence

In every negotiation with an insurance company, the claimant must explain how the at-fault party was negligent and is liable for their injuries. You and your lawyer will need to prove each of the four elements below as you negotiate:

  • Breach of duty: Show that the at-fault party caused your injuries after failing to honor their duty as a driver. For example, by texting while driving.
  • Duty of care: Explain how Wisconsin laws require drivers to operate their vehicles safely. Show how the at-fault driver’s behavior breached their duty of care.
  • Proximate cause: Relate how your injuries were caused by the at-fault’s party breach of duty.
  • Damages: You must have verifiable injuries and documentation to show that you suffered from the car crash.

Understanding what is and what isn’t negligence—and proving it—requires experience and extensive knowledge of the law. At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience identifying and proving the four components of negligence, and it’s something we do every day.

3. Know Your Insurance Coverage

Before entering the negotiation room, ensure you know the extent of your coverage. For instance, in Wisconsin, drivers must have a minimum liability insurance coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, plus $10,000 for property damage.

If the person at fault for the accident has additional coverage, it could significantly increase your settlement amount. Having this knowledge will help you know what to expect when negotiating, as can consulting with a lawyer who can pinpoint what additional policies you may be able to tap into to get compensation for your damages.

4. Know Your Claim’s Worth

Before meeting with the insurance company, it’s important to talk to your lawyer first. You should never have direct communication with the insurance company without your lawyer present or them communicating with you through your lawyer.

When it’s time to meet with the insurance company, your lawyer can help you calculate how much settlement money you should ask from them. You can request compensation for two types of damages: special and general. General damages are intangible injuries and are often a bit harder to prove. Special damages, like medical bills, are more tangible and often easier to prove. The following table gives you examples of these damages:

Special DamagesGeneral Damages
Medical treatmentInsomnia, depression, and anxiety
Miscellaneous medical expenses, such as ambulance transportationPhysical pain and discomfort
Lost wagesPhysical limitations
Replacement costs, such as for the damaged vehiclePsychological trauma

Calculating general damages requires careful thought and assessment. There is no tangible way to measure how the injuries have affected your life. But with the help of a car crash lawyer, Appleton victims could be able to get satisfactory compensation for general damages. 

5. Prepare for the Insurance Company’s Tactics

Insurance adjusters have mastered the art of negotiating insurance claims. They know the loopholes to exploit and how to drive the negotiation process.

Always remember, no matter the settlement you request, the adjuster will say the amount is too high to pay out. They will reduce your settlement deal by a considerable margin as they poke holes in your case. Their aim is to rattle you and force you to settle for less. Fortunately, our Wisconsin personal injury lawyers can see through these tactics and will not budge until they get you maximum recovery.

6. Do Not Settle Quickly

Insurance adjusters are trained and equipped to settle claims quickly and for as little amount as possible. They will often immediately make an offer after you file a claim with them. Do not accept their first offer but be prepared to discuss the settlement. You can also postpone further negotiations until you have the time for a thorough medical evaluation to understand the full extent of your injuries, allowing you to ask for the correct amount to cover expenses.

It’s also important to understand that your settlement for your medical bills and vehicle repair bills can be settled separately. Don’t let the insurance company rush you into accepting a too small payment for your injuries because you are in desperate need of transportation again.

Your lawyer will review all settlement offers and ensure they are fair to you, your family, and the damages you’ve incurred as a result of the crash. If the insurance company continually refuses to pay you the money you deserve, we won’t hesitate to escalate your case to trial to get you full and fair compensation.

7. Hire an experienced Car Crash Lawyer in Appleton

Negotiating with an insurance company can be a complicated and lengthy process. It is essential that you work with an experienced Appleton car crash lawyer who can help you navigate the entire process and negotiate a favorable deal. At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, we fight for your maximum recovery and will not rest until we get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with us today. 

The lawyers at the offices of Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers have reviewed this content. 

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