Guidelines For Negotiating A Personal Injury Settlement

After an injured accident victim has filed a claim with the insurance company, the adjuster gets assigned to work on that same claim. The adjuster’s task includes that of trying to settle the accident-caused dispute.

First steps in adjuster’s task

Study the demand letter that was sent by the claimant and the claimant’s lawyer. Respond by highlighting the possible weaknesses in that same letter

• Does the defendant’s insurance policy cover the reported incident?
• How seriously has the claimant been hurt?
• What was the nature of the claimant’s treatment? Who prescribed that same treatment, a chiropractor or a medical doctor?
• Did the claimant have any pre-existing conditions?

Await counter-argument from the opposing party. Study that counter-argument, and then introduce the initial offer from the insurance company, as per Injury Lawyer in Ottawa.

What takes place after that initial offer has been made?

• The plaintiff reduces the size of the amount demanded as compensation.
• The adjuster gets the new demand, and increases the size of the offer.
• The plaintiff must decide whether or not to accept the new offer; plaintiffs that reject the early offers report that fact to the adjuster.
• In order to prevent a stalemate, the adjuster must make a higher offer.
• The plaintiff and adjuster continue to propose a possible settlement figure, until those 2 parties manage to agree on a single figure.

Factors that influence the length of the negotiations

• How well the plaintiff has prepared the collected evidence
• The level of the plaintiff’s desire to complete the process as quickly as possible
• The amount of money that the insurance policy allows for making different adjustments

Tips to be followed by plaintiffs that hope to achieve a fair settlement

• Stay organized; keep track of all losses, especially medical expenses
• Exhibit patience; do not get agitated or excited.
• Refuse the adjuster’s first offer

Do not let the adjuster stall the pace of the negotiations; insist on delivery of any promised document. Offer a forceful response to any stalling tactics.Be firm, regarding the stated facts. Adjusters hope that claimants will re-consider the veracity of the stated facts. Thus, the level of the plaintiff’s firmness sends a clear message to the adjuster.

Do not become emotional while negotiating with any of the insurer’s adjusters. On the other hand, do not hesitate to mention those pieces of evidence that should have stirred the emotions. For instance, it could be that a picture of the damaged vehicle was attached to the demand letter. It is OK to mention some specific elements of the case, especially those that have put more stress in the plaintiff’s life. Such an element could be a problem that has managed to disrupt the plaintiff’s formerly established lifestyle.