Certain actions prove helpful, if the negotiations become contentious.
Lawyers encourage performance of these actions by their clients
Have a minimal acceptable figure in mind, but be ready to change it. If the adjuster were to introduce facts that could weaken case, then lower that minimum acceptable figure. If the adjuster’s opening bid comes close to that minimum, then increase the size of the figure that you had in mind.
Always refuse to accept the adjuster’s initial offer. It could be a low-ball offer, one that is meant to test the level of the claimant’s eagerness to settle. Seek justification for any exceedingly low offer. Make that request for justification in the form of a written letter. During next phone call with adjuster, ask for a reply to the written letter.
Do your best to highlight any emotional points, when contacting the adjuster. Make an effort to call the adjuster’s attention to any way that the effects of the accident have managed to disrupt your life.
During the negotiations, never reduce the size of a demand, until after you have received a new offer from the adjuster. Claimants that do not follow that particular suggestion manage to showcase their own lack of familiarity with the negotiating process.
Insist that any agreement that has been discussed over the phone get spelled out in writing. Ideally, that written explanation of the agreement should give a time when delivery of a compensation package could be expected.
When could some issue that was raised during negotiations signal the need to consult with a lawyer?
You have sustained serious injuries, but the other side has refused to accept the fact that your injuries were serious in nature. With a lawyer’s help, you should be able to make use of the facts that have been stated in the treating doctor’s medical record.
You have learned that you might have to deal with more medical problems in the future. You want to add those future damages to your claim, but the other side has objected. Here again, a lawyer’s guidance should prove helpful. You could work with the lawyer to find the place in the medical record where the doctor has made a reference to the possible need for further medical treatments, perhaps even surgery.
The insurance company has alleged that you are partly to blame for the accident, or for an injury to yourself, or to a 3rd party. If you were to go along with that allegation, you could end up with a very small compensation. For that reason, it is better to consult with an attorney. Such a consultation might uncover some point in your favor. A Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa would know then, how to proceed.