A smart personal injury lawyer urges any client to delay settlement negotiations until each injured victim has reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Steps that victim must take, prior to negotiations
Send a demand letter to the adjuster: Include a high figure as the amount demanded; Make clear the reason that the other party should be held liable.
Victim making demand should have in his or her mind a figure that would be the minimal acceptable offer from the insurance company. That same figure should not be mentioned in the letter to the adjuster.
Adjuster comes forward with an initial bid. It could be a low-ball offer. If that same bid were close to the figure in the victim’s mind, then that same figure should be increased. On the other hand, if the number in the victim’s mind was far greater than the one that had been stated by the adjuster, then that mental figure ought to be decreased slightly.
The victim makes a counter offer; It should be a bit lower than the amount that was demanded in the letter to the adjuster. The adjuster’s response to that counter-offer should be a bit higher than the initial bid. Each following counter-offer should be a bit lower than the previous one.
Each response to the string of counter-offers should be a bit higher than the previous one. Hopefully, the 2 opposing parties finally settle on a figure, as per the personal injury lawyer in Calgary.
Then the victim’s lawyer should write to the insurance company, and request confirmation of the fact that the agreed-upon amount would be the size of the expected compensation. In addition, the lawyer should ask when the same compensation would be delivered to the victim’s lawyer.
A personal injury attorney normally takes a given percent of the compensation as a fee for legal services. That same attorney would understand, as well, that no check would be coming until the attorney’s client had signed the insurance company’s release form.
Factors that could influence the speed at which the above steps get completed
• The thoroughness of the insurance company’s investigation of the submitted claim
• The number of supporting documents that the adjuster has received from the claimant/victim.
• The accuracy of the information in the demand letter
What could slow the pace at which the negotiation process was able to move forward?
• Questions regarding the coverage offered by the policy of interest
–For a 3rd party claim, that would be the defendant’s car insurance policy
–For a 1st party claim, it would be the claimant’s policy.
• Questions regarding the liability of either party and the extent of the victim’s injuries
• Questions regarding the nature and extent of the prescribed treatment