Someone that has filed a 3rd party claim with an insurance company frequently sends the insurance adjuster a demand letter. If the same adjuster makes a ridiculously low offer in response to that demand letter, it is called a low-ball offer.
The adjuster’s initial offer is supposed to serve as a starting point for negotiations.
Yet, if the adjuster’s initial proposal could satisfy the characteristics of typical low-ball offers, then the claimant should not feel compelled to start negotiating at that point in time. Instead, the claimant’s best action would entail calling the adjuster, and asking a few questions. In that way, the claimant should learn the reason for the low starting figure.
For instance, one question might be this one: Was the information provided insufficient? If the adjuster’s answer were yes, then that would indicate a need to send copies of medical bills and better proof of lost income.
An alternate question could be this one: Were the effects of the injury lawyer clear? If the adjuster appeared confused with respect to the injury’s effects, then the claimant would need to send a follow-up letter. That letter should focus on the nature of the claimant’s non-economic damages.
What claimants should consider, when forming a response to an offer that is supposed to start negotiations?
What amount of money would seem fair? What amount of money does the claimant feel that he or she deserves?
Claimants should keep in mind the fact that the responsible party normally carries an automobile insurance policy. That same policy puts a limit on the amount of money that the policyholder can receive, in the way of compensation for the victim of an accident. Insurance adjusters are aware of the limits mentioned in a policy that was issued by their employer, the insurer, and the issuer of that same policy.
In cases where the responsible party did carry some type of automobile insurance, then claimants must consider a different fact. That would be the value of any assets that might be held by the responsible party. Claimants stand almost no chance for obtaining much compensation from someone that has few assets.
Claimants’ need to proceed with caution
An accident victim/claimant that has failed to reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) should never issue a counteroffer to any figure that has been proposed by the other party’s insurance company. If the 2 sides were to agree on a figure, then the insurance company would ask for a signed release.
If the signature of a victim/claimant were to appear on a release, then the person that signed the release form would be unable to seek compensation for any further problems, or any complications caused by treatment.