Experienced personal injury lawyers are familiar with the claims process. Yet their clients may not be. For that reason, an attorney ought to take the time to explain to a client the role of the insurance adjuster.
Prepare the client for that first call from an adjuster.
Explain that adjusters get different titles. Some are called are called claims specialists or claims representatives. There might even be an independent claims analyst on the other end of the client’s first phone call, following the sending of a demand letter.
Adjusters have different titles because their boss may not run the other party’s insurance company. Some insurers hire a company that sends out independent analysts/adjusters. All the bosses want the adjuster to focus on the same goals.
What are the adjuster’s goals?
• Get the claimant to accept the proposed offer.
• Get that acceptance as early as possible in the negotiation process.
What is the adjuster’s typical strategy, when striving to meet those goals?
The adjuster focuses on the effort to get a low offer accepted by the claimant. Yet that focus does not motivate the adjuster to learn more about the claimant’s case. In other words, the man or woman that answers and adjuster’s call know far more about a given case that that caller from the insurance company.
An examination of adjusters’ training would reveal that none of them has received any legal training or any medical training. Despite the absence of such training, the untrained adjuster/analyst does not hesitate to bring up legal and medical issues. Adjusters’ tendency to bring up such issues stems from their desire to highlight the weaknesses in the other party’s case.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Kingston knows that only during mediation does an adjuster/analyst gain a greater understanding of a claimant/victim. During that process, the 2 parties have a face-to-face meeting. Adjusters’ absence of specific training matches with their inability to accept certain demands from the other party. If that demand is rather high, the adjuster must consult with a superior, thus delaying the achievement of a settlement. Still, it does not need to be seen as a process that can impede achievement of a settlement.
Adjusters’ role at end of negotiating process
At the conclusion of the negotiating process, an adjuster’s acquisition of any skills, other than bargaining, must include the ability to write or dictate the contents for a letter. A smart claimant/victim asks for written details, regarding how a dispute will be settled. Victims do not want to remain in the dark, regarding what will happen next.
Victims understand that once negotiations end, the insurance company should be sending them some form of compensation. Victims/claimants want a written statement, explaining when the expected payout will be arriving in the mail.