After an insurer learns about a reported incident, the same insurer assigns the new claim to one of the company’s adjusters. That same adjuster wants to keep the payout low. At the same time, the adjuster’s goal concerns avoiding pursuit of a personal injury claim, by the latest claimant.
Factors studied by adjusters
• The claimant’s expenses (mostly medical bills)
• Any lost income
• Extent of claimant’s pain and suffering
• Other negative effects, such as lost opportunities, or forced changes in lifestyle
• Limits on the defendant’s policy: An insurance company would never agree to pay more than the limits’ maximum.
• The strength of the plaintiff’s/claimant’s case; Claimants with a strong case have reason to hope for a large settlement.
What a claimant should consider, when dealing with an adjuster?
• How to achieve a preservation of rights? That consideration could push the claimant/plaintiff to hire an injury lawyer in Hamilton.
• How to assemble evidence that underscores the fact that the defendant was the party at-fault?
• How to assemble evidence that showcases the injuries’ extensive consequences?
• How to work with a lawyer, in order to draft an effective demand letter?
The message that a demand letter sends to an adjuster
The demand letter should state the amount of money that the plaintiff/claimant expects to receive, as settlement for the reported case. The same letter does not state the amount of money that would be viewed as “acceptable,” in the claimant’s eyes. Claimants tend to settle if the other side has proposed that acceptable amount.
Once adjusters have read the figure quoted in a demand letter, those same adjusters feel obligated to begin negotiations at a figure that is close to the one mentioned in the letter’s contents. Why should adjusters feel obligated to begin with such a figure?
Smart claimants strive to keep adjusters’ minds from dreaming up some sort of low-ball offer. Typically, such an offer falls well below the amount of money that would qualify as “acceptable.” Hence, the claimant-adjuster negotiations need to proceed for a fair amount of time, if the adjuster is going to mention that acceptable figure.
An adjuster’s boss, the insurer, does not insist on a quick settlement, if patience can be used to keep a payout low. Insurers focus more on a low payout and avoidance of a lawsuit, than on a quick settlement. After all, the person that hopes to get the settlement tends to determine the rate at which negotiations proceed. That same person might elect, rather reluctantly, to end negotiations at a point where the adjuster’s bid has remained rather low. Understand that the sequence of events outlined above represent what could happen, if the injured victim/claimant had failed to compose and send a demand letter.