The length of a personal injury case depends on the degree of success experienced by those that take part in the initial negotiations. Ideally, those allow for a settling of the case.
Nature of situation at start of negotiations
The claimant knows the amount of money that he or she hopes to receive in the form of compensation. The adjuster knows the amount of money that the insurance company is willing to pay the claimant. The information known to the claimant remains a mystery to the adjuster; in the same way the adjuster’s knowledge cannot be accessed by the claimant.
Process followed by those taking part in the negotiations
• The claimant sends a demand letter to the insurance company.
• The insurance adjuster responds and mentions the weaknesses in the presented claim.
• The claimant responds to the adjuster’s remarks. That involves making mention of any strong points.
• The adjuster makes an initial offer. The size of that offer determines the nature of the claimant’s response.
If the adjuster’s offer seems slightly reasonable, the claimant lowers slightly the amount of money requested in the demand letter. If the adjuster has made a low-ball offer, then the claimant needs to seek an explanation for that unreasonable proposal. It helps to make that request in writing.
At this point, smart adjusters agree to increase slightly the amount of money being offered. The claimant can accept that new offer or make another counter-offer.
Arguments most often used by adjusters:
• The claimant’s insurance policy does not cover this particular situation.
• The claimant was partially at fault.
• The injuries are not as serious as alleged by claimant.
• The claimant has not pursued the treatment to the fullest extent.
Tips for the negotiators
Exercise patience. The insurance company would love to hear that the claimant has accepted the adjuster’s initial offer. That is usually a low figure. Claimants that spend time negotiating a final offer normally manage to win a larger compensation.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Richmond Hill knows that you should keep your documents organized. Do not dispose of any document that relates to your case. That includes any medical bill. Those documents can be used to support claims about the cost of a given injury. In addition, the bills can support claims regarding the extent to which a proposed treatment was pursued.
Adjusters make a habit of promising a specific action. A persistent claimant insists on performance of the promised action. For instance, if an adjuster’s promise related to future consultations with a supervisor, the claimant should ask if that consultation took place. Naturally, the claimant would then want to know what the supervisor said. Be tactful, but use well-meaning language. Do not make any threats. Do not issue a string of unkind words.