One of the first things you need to do after being involved in a car accident is filing a claim with your insurance company. When they start processing the claim, you will meet with an insurance adjuster who looks at the damage and reviews the claim to come up with a settlement amount. However, you might not like the first offer and may need to negotiate with the adjuster. Here are some tips to do that.

Come Up With a Settlement Amount

As soon as you receive the letter from your insurance company that the claim amount you suggested was not approved, you should have an alternative number in mind for the negotiations. This is your settlement amount, or the minimum amount you are willing to accept for damages caused by the accident. The number should be fair and give you what you feel you deserve, but also be realistic. It helps to talk to a personal injury attorney when coming up with a settlement amount to be sure it is fair, but that you aren't asking for less than what the claim is worth. Keep this number in mind and ask for a number higher than your minimum for the first level of negotiations.

Don't Accept the First Offer

It is a general rule that adjusters often lowball you in the beginning and are willing to go higher. While this might not always be the case, it is still worth trying to negotiate. You should never accept the first offer you are given unless you are lucky and the offer is more than what you are hoping for. Try to negotiate and offer a counter offer at least once--or according to what your attorney suggests.

Ask for Reasons

If during negotiations, the adjuster still doesn't agree to the amount you ask for, request a specific reason from them. Most insurance adjusters will provide you with details about why they are refusing to offer you a higher settlement amount. It may be justified based on the details of the case, or the insurance adjuster might have inaccurate information. This is why you need to know their reasoning so you can decide if you will accept their current offer or keep fighting during negotiations.

It is highly recommended that you have a personal injury attorney, like those at Antonucci Frank & Associates Attorneys, who specializes in car accident claims when entering negotiations. It can be a tricky process that often requires help from a legal professional.