How Could Negotiations Lead To Settlement of Injury Claim?

The negotiation process is similar to the act of bargaining with a car dealer, when purchasing an automobile. Both parties recognize the vehicle’s worth, but each has doubts about the other party’s intentions.

The buyer knows how much he/she is willing to pay; the seller knows what price the dealership wants for the offered vehicle. During the claim’s process, the accident victim has the role of seller, and the adjuster has the role of buyer.

Basic features of negotiation process

Usually takes place over the phone. If claimant’s lawyer is negotiating with adjuster, there could be meetings that the claimant attends. The adjuster might speak with the claimant at such a meeting. Personal injury lawyer in Kingston knows that the process starts with a demand letter; demand calls for response from the adjuster

The give and take during negotiations

The adjuster’s response could consist of comments

—Might comment on weaknesses in presented claim
—Might dispute some of the facts in the demand letter
—Might dispute allegations about the burden of liability on either party

Claimant studies the adjuster’s response, along with the initial bid.

—Some adjusters make a habit of coming forward with a low-ball bid.
—In that situation, the claimant would challenge the reason for the unreasonably low bid.

Claimants that have received a reasonable bid answer it with a counter-offer. The bids and counter-offers get exchanged until the 2 parties have agreed to accept on particular figure. That same figure comes to represent the terms of a settlement.

Issues or actions that could slow the negotiation process

An adjuster’s expression of doubt, regarding the true seriousness of the victim’s reported injuries
A claimant’s failure to be organized, so that there are no receipts from doctors or medical facilities that can be shown to the insurance company

An allegation of shared blame from the insurance company

A holdup in delivery of a response: The insurance company is usually the party that causes such a holdup.

Utilization of foul language on the part of an angry accident victim: Few victims appreciate the size of the adjuster’s workload. Adjusters do not favor a victim that has used such language.

An action that could speed the pace of the same process

A claimant’s willingness to accept a low-ball offer/bid: Whenever any adjusters present a claimant with a low-ball bid, they hope that the same claimant’s desire for financial assistance will motivate him or her to accept the amount of money that has been offered.

True, that acceptance does speed-up the claim’s process. Yet, it also forces the recipient of the low-ball offer to sacrifice his or her opportunity to negotiate with the insurance company, in hopes of receiving what would appear to be a fair compensation.