Negotiating makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable. This is mostly because they don’t know how to negotiate and lack experience. To ensure a successful negotiation with an insurance company, here are the most important things to know.

Don’t Take the First Offer

In most cases, you can settle for a better offer than the first offer an insurance adjuster makes. Do some research so you can head into negotiations already knowing what the minimum reasonable amount is and how much you want to get. You should attempt to negotiate a little higher than the minimum reasonable amount to ensure you are properly compensated as the insurance adjuster is going to work hard to give you less than what you ask for. Sometimes, an insurance adjuster actually does make a reasonable first offer. If you’re uncomfortable with negotiating, then accept it and immediately get the settlement in writing, so that the insurance company doesn’t back out of it later.

Use Evidence to Justify Your Damages

Insurance companies use many techniques to get out of paying for damages in car accident lawsuits. Be prepared to effectively counter these attempts with cold hard evidence to justify your damages. From the very start of any type of accident, you should create and keep detailed documentation. Take pictures of the accident scene, including your injuries and damage to any property. If you were in a collision, fell, or were potentially injured in any way, then immediately get a checkup with a doctor. Keep documentation on this as well. Insurance companies frequently use a delay in seeing a doctor to skirt responsibility for health problems. They will claim you are either completely or partially responsible for your medical bills due to not immediately seeking treatment. Also keep a personal journal of any suffering you’re going through to use as evidence during negotiation, including the emotional side of suffering.

Bring Up the Emotional Impact Too

For a powerful negotiation, pair your cold hard facts with the emotional impact injuries or property damage have had on you as well. In court, non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, can be perceived as more costly than economic damages. You can thus negotiate a higher compensation when you remember to stress the emotional impacts. Other types of non-economic damages recognized by the legal system are pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disability and disfigurement. Be prepared for the insurance company to try claiming that the settlement should focus on economic damages. Stay assertive in being properly compensated for both the economic and non-economic damages the incident had on you.

Negotiating with an insurance company is much easier when you implement the three things listed above. You will have a powerful combination of detailed documentation and the confidence to stick to receiving the compensation you know you deserve.

Not all occupations are created equal in the eyes of insurance companies. See what occupations they consider to be some of the most dangerous (and expensive) here.