Some insurance adjusters tend to propose a low-ball figure at the start of negotiations. Still, the majority of adjusters use special techniques for arriving at a figure to put forward, once the negotiations have started.
The adjuster’s first steps
• Speak with the alleged defendant
• Read police reports, or accident reports
• Look for mention of client’s involvement in earlier claims
• Seek documents related to the claim: Medical bills, proof of earnings, tax returns, proof of property damage
The adjuster needs to focus on the answer to these questions:
What are the chances that the plaintiff might win at the conclusion of a trial?
How much money is a jury likely to award the plaintiff, if the plaintiff’s case were to go to trial?
If the chances were high that the plaintiff might win, following a trial, and if the resulting jury award would be high, then the adjuster needs to put forward a decent offer.
Armed with those answers, the adjuster makes use of a standard formula.
In that formula, the total medical cost for the victim/claimant gets placed in a special blank within the adjuster’s formula. Introduction of that cost allows for determination of a given case’s value. The formula’s other factor reflects the adjuster’s assessment for the approximate value of the plaintiff’s/claimant’s case.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa knows that an adjuster’s value would normally be a figure between 1.5 and 5. In rare instances, it might be more than 5. The resulting product would then get added to the value for the client’s lost income. The adjuster makes use of the calculated value, the one obtained by using the formula.
How do adjusters use that calculated value?
In the adjusters’ minds, that calculated value should serve as the starting point for negotiations. In other words, an adjuster should feel confident about putting forward that calculated value at the start of negotiations. Of course, that does not mean that the plaintiffs and the adjusters always settle on the adjuster’s proposed figure. Instead, the two sides must negotiate/bargain, until they arrive at a figure that pleases both parties. If the negotiations stall, then the 2 sides must use other methods, such as mediation.
Ideally, a mediator can get the 2 parties to agree on a monetary value of the compensation. Still, not every mediator proves successful. If mediation fails to lead to an agreement, the plaintiff and defendant must face each other in a courtroom.
Of all adjusters’ nightmare scenarios, that is the worst. Every adjuster tries to avoid that situation. That is why some of the adjusters’ time gets spent making calculations by using a standard formula. That effort demonstrates the adjuster’s desire to avoid a trial. Of course, it does not always work as expected.