After an insurance company has received a 3rd party claim, it assigns that same claim to one of its insurance adjusters. That selected adjuster represents the insurance company during the pre-settlement negotiations.
The adjuster’s twin goals
Try to keep the payout to the claimant as low as possible. It is important to strive and avoid a lawsuit: A lawsuit would invite a decision by a judge and jury. No one can predict what that decision might be.
Factors considered by adjusters, before the start of pre-settlement negotiations
- The claimant’s medical costs, as shown by the total on each of the bills from doctors, laboratories and other medical facilities
- Lost income
- Possible loss of the ability to earn a living
- Pain and suffering
- Other negative effects of the reported injury
Factors that should be considered by claimants, while negotiating with an adjuster
The benefits linked to setting aside time to consult with lawyers, and then hire a selected attorney: Claimants that have hired a personal injury lawyer in Crystal Lake tend to receive a higher initial offer from the adjuster.
Is there clear evidence that the other party was at fault? Could the insurance company find a reason to suggest shared-fault? When fault is shared, the claimant receives a smaller compensation package.
Is it a good idea for the claimant to compose and send a demand letter?
-The act of writing and sending such a letter provides the insurance company with evidence of the claimant’s readiness to negotiate.
-Insurance companies are not required to respond to such a letter. Still, most do, because it demonstrates a willingness to conduct good business practices.
What actions should a claimant take after communicating the size of a demanded compensation?
-Claimants ought to have in their mind some unwritten and unstated figure that represents the minimum amount of money that must be offered, in order to get their agreement on a settlement. That is not a figure that needs to be set-in-stone. It can be increased on decreased, depending on the size of the adjuster’s initial offer.
-If much time has passed since the demand’s presentation, by means of the mail, then the author of that mailed communication needs to get on the phone. The phone call should be made in an effort to determine the reason for the delay. Ideally, the adjuster’s comments should indicate when a reply could be coming.
-If no reply had been received on, or soon after the indicated date, then it would not be improper for the claimant to make another call. If that call failed to get results, it would be wise for the claimant’s focus to switch from the adjuster to the adjuster’s boss. That would be the person overseeing all of the adjusters.