Some insurance adjusters like to test the claimant for their newly assigned case. Their testing process involves proposing a ridiculously low starting offer. Personal Injury Lawyer in Kingston often refer to that proposal as a low-ball offer.
Strategies to avoid, when responding that that ridiculous proposal/offer
• Sending off a quick and curt answer, one that is an obvious refusal.
• Agreeing to accept the amount of money that has been offered by the adjuster.
How to prepare and compose an acceptable answer?
First, call the adjuster’s office and seek an explanation for the low figure that has been proposed, as a possible starting point for negotiations. Take notes during that call.
Next, compose a letter, one that gives a clear written response to the points that were mentioned in the phone call. If the insurance company has requested further information, provide them with those particular facts. Still, focus on subjective issues, such as the effects of the injury. Close by presenting a counter-offer. It should not be too high.
How to make good use of your time, while awaiting a reply?
Ideally, you have placed in your mind a certain figure, one that represents the minimum amount of money that you would be willing to accept. Hopefully, that exceedingly low offer was well below your personal “bottom line.” If it was not, then select a higher minimal figure.
Suppose, though, that the adjuster’s proposed figure had been almost the same as that “bottom line amount.” In that case, you should think about making that minimal amount even lower.
For how long should the 2 of you exchange offers?
Normally, the exchange process proceeds until both parties have agreed to accept a certain figure. Yet, the claimant might not be ready to go along with settlement terms, at that point in time. It could be that the claimant’s treating physician had not yet said that the all of the reported injuries had reached the point of maximum medical improvement.
Claimants need to appreciate the nature of the insurance company’s demands, once a claimant has agreed to settlement terms. At that point, the insurer wants to see the claimant’s signature on a release form. That signature would free the insurance company of responsibility for any complications or new symptoms, as might develop from the existing injuries.
Claimants that do agree to settle should seek confirmation of the figure to which the 2 sides have agreed. That request for confirmation should also ask for the exact date when the promised check would be sent to the claimant’s lawyer. The lawyer would be expected to take the contingency fee, pay anyone that needed to be reimbursed, and then send the rest of the money to the client.