All adjusters negotiate with their assigned claimants. Each of them hopes to convince the claimant to accept a low payout.
What if the offer of a low payout were to anger the claimant?
In that situation, the angered claimant might refuse to settle with the adjuster. Reluctant to settle, the claimant’s anger might push him or her to file a lawsuit. The target of the lawsuit would be the adjuster’s employer, the insurance company.
Adjusters try to avoid the development of such situation. At a personal injury trial, a jury decides how much money the court should award the injured plaintiff. Insurance companies do not want to lose the control that has been granted them, during the negotiation process. Consequently, an adjuster has two goals. In addition to aiming for a low payout, the adjuster’s mind does not overlook the need to avoid any lawsuit.
Questions for which adjusters seek answers.
• What would be a reasonable offer? Could that be used to convince the claimant to settle for a low payout?
• Does this claimant understand the value of his or her claim?
• How extensive were the claimant’s losses?
• What are the limits on the policy that our company sold to the defendant?
• How strong is the claimant’s case?
How do adjusters’ efforts focus on finding an answer to each of the above questions?
The adjuster’s own company should have the information on about the limits on the defendant’s policy. The claimant’s lawyer should provide the facts on the client’s losses. One special document, if made available, should offer some insight into the case’s strength, and the claimant’s understanding of the claim’s value.
What is that special document?
That is a demand letter. That should conclude with a demand, a request for a specific amount of money. The size of that amount should indicate how well the letter’s author (the claimant) understands the value of his or her claim.
Smart claimants work with a personal injury lawyer in Grande Prairie, so that their arguments can be explained in the demand letter. That same document also provides that client-lawyer team with control over the adjuster’s initial bid.
Adjusters that do not receive such a letter might feel tempted to introduce a low-ball offer. That makes it hard for negotiations to lead to a fair settlement. On the other hand, if the adjuster has been given a statement that spells out the size of the claimant’s demand, then the adjuster’s first offer needs to recognize the level of that request.
Of course, few claimants know what figure to settle for, as the pre-settlement negotiations progress. Still, those that have hired a lawyer should have access to some useful guidance, regarding the suitable figure for a fair settlement.