You may qualify to seek compensation for your pain and suffering after an accident in Indiana. In this situation, many people wonder how to negotiate a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer.
In order to secure these non-economic damages, you’ll have to collect evidence, estimate the value of your losses, send a demand letter, and negotiate with insurance agents. You can secure help with this process with a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis.
Find out more about the steps to secure fair compensation for your losses with our team at Vaughan & Vaughan. You can call or fill out our online contact form to learn more.
Determine the Value of Your Claim Before Negotiations
You can attempt to seek compensation for your pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering after an accident in Indiana. However, you must estimate the value of these losses, as they do not have a precise dollar amount, unlike the costs for medical care or vehicle repairs.
Many people feel unsure where to start determining a value for these non-economic losses, which could result in asking for too little or too much compensation during the negotiation process.
Try to determine the impact of your accident on the quality of your life when considering a pain and suffering claim.
Gather Evidence to Support Your Losses
In order to negotiate a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer, you need to collect evidence to support the claim. Evidence for these losses can vary tremendously as they do not have physical results.
In many cases, you may include:
- Photos or video taken at the scene of your accident
- The official police accident report
- Medical reports and documents that detail your injuries
- Statements from witnesses
Keeping all this evidence organized can prove challenging, especially if you’re still recovering from your accident. However, insurance agents require extensive proof before paying for pain and suffering.
Write a Demand Letter
Part of negotiating a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer involves sending a letter of demand. You send this letter only after medical personnel fully evaluate your condition, and you understand the long-term effects of the accident on your life.
The demand letter should include an explicit explanation about why you believe the at-fault party holds liability for your losses. You should also include what you believe is fair compensation for your losses.
You cannot make up a figure to represent your losses. Instead, you must provide documentation that shows your losses and backs up your claims.
Take Care of Negotiations with Insurance Agents
After identifying your losses, gathering evidence, and sending a demand letter, you can finally begin the process of negotiations. Generally, the negotiations start when the insurance company sends you its first offer.
You can expect the initial offer to be very low and insufficient to cover your pain and suffering. You’ll have to send back a higher request. You should expect the process to go back and forth several times.
Insurance agents may refuse to agree to your total claim demand, especially if you attempt to handle the negotiations without a lawyer on your side. However, you may reach a settlement in some cases.
What Can You Expect During Negotiations?
When you negotiate a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer, you should expect a potentially lengthy mediation process. You will likely not meet directly with insurance agents. Instead, the company will hire a powerful legal team to handle the process for them.
In some cases, insurance companies try to resist mediation meetings in an attempt to delay or refuse compensation. You’ll face off against professionals with years of specialized experience who want to protect their bottom line by blocking your damages.
If negotiations go poorly, you may decide to file a lawsuit for compensation instead. However, this also requires extensive legal knowledge, time, and money.
Can a Lawyer Handle Pain and Suffering Claims in Indiana?
While you can attempt to negotiate a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer, this action often makes it more difficult for you to secure full compensation for your losses. Fortunately, you can hire a professional to assist with getting fair treatment after an accident.
Lawyers use their experience and training to gather evidence and stand up to insurance agents on your behalf. They take care of complicated legal documents and file everything on time to avoid issues with deadlines.
They can reply back to insurance companies and translate legal jargon on your behalf, helping you feel more confident about the situation and giving you time to recover from your injuries.
Speak to Us About Negotiating a Pain and Suffering Claim
You can learn how to negotiate a pain and suffering claim without a lawyer, or you can turn to professionals for assistance after an accident. Our team at Vaughan & Vaughan can stand up for you, represent your best interests, and fight for fair damages.
Find out more about how we can help by calling or filling out our online contact form.