After a claim has been filed with an insurance company, the insurer assigns the new claimant’s file to an adjuster. The adjuster’s job entails conducting an investigation, in order to determine the claim’s worth.
What is on adjuster’s mind during investigation?
• Hope for getting claimant to accept lowest settlement offer
• Desire to avoid a lawsuit, due to claimant’s refusal to settle
Expected actions from adjuster
Calculate the damages
• Medical expenses
• Lost income
• Pain and suffering
• Other negative effects of accident
Use insurance company’s standard method for determining the value of the pain and suffering. Make adjustments to result obtained with the chosen method:
–Speak with supervisor, concerning percentage of result to be used in the initial offer
–Study type of physician used during treatment: Claimants that have relied on the services of a chiropractor usually get a lower opening bid. If computer program has been used, this is no longer necessary.
–Check to see if claimant has hired a lawyer: Claimants that have retained an attorney are provided with a higher initial offer.
–Check on the limits in the defendant’s policy: Adjusters never offer more than the amount quoted as the limit for the purchased policy.
–Respond to demand letter, by offering feedback: Ideally, feedback elicits a response.
How claimants’ actions can dampen effect of adjusters’ actions
Those claimants that retain a Personal Injury Lawyer in St Thomas make it clear that each of them is serious about upholding his or her health and legal rights.Claimant’s ability to dampen that effect increases, in those situations where there is no evidence that there might be a charge of shared fault.
The writing and sending of the demand letter force the recipient (adjuster) to act in a manner that recognizes the letter’s claims. A reply from the letter’s recipient could result in beneficial changes to the presented claims. Those same changes might cause the plaintiff/claimant to have a stronger case.
Adjusters also consider the strength of the filed claim
Could that claim become the basis for a sound lawsuit? Remember adjusters want to avoid a lawsuit. If that were to become impossible, the adjusters’ acknowledged goal would switch to that of facing a lawsuit with a weak foundation.
For cases where claimants’ claims were strong, the opening bid should encourage the presentation of a counter offer. That means that it should not be unusually low. Of course, the opposite set of circumstances would exist, if the claims appeared to be exceedingly weak.
Adjusters study the facts, along with their considerations and put forward an initial offer. That action serves as the start of negotiations, a process that could lead to a settlement.