Most personal injury cases end with a settlement, and thus avoid the need for a trial. Although it takes less time to settle, the negotiation process does require the completion of specific steps.
The first step involves the sending of a demand letter.
• Give the time and place of the accident
• Plaintiff asks for an amount of money that is greater than the case’s estimated value.
• The insurance adjuster responds to that letter, and points out any weaknesses in the submitted claim.
The bulk of the negotiations take place during the next stage of the process.
The plaintiff responds to the adjuster’s criticism. If possible, the plaintiff highlights an emotional point, one that might push the adjuster to make a larger offer. The adjuster makes the insurance company’s initial offer. It tends to be quite low.
The personal injury lawyer in London knows that plaintiff responds by making an offer that is a bit lower than what was quoted in the demand letter. The adjuster and the plaintiff keep repeating the above 2 steps, until they have both agreed upon a certain figure. When both sides reach an agreement, the insurance company should be ready to pay the agreed-upon amount. In other words, it should provide the plaintiff with the date when the compensation check will get mailed out.
Facts that plaintiffs need to keep in mind
No insurance company will agree to issue a check until the person that has made the claim has signed a release. The signed release frees the insurance company of responsibility for any new medical conditions that might arise, following the delivery of the compensation funds.
Sometimes, an adjuster needs to obtain permission from the insurer, before he or she can quote a specific offer. When that is the case, the plaintiff might get the adjuster’s promise that some sort of response should be coming soon. That does not mean that the plaintiff’s time needs to be spent waiting and waiting for an answer.
If the adjuster has not contacted the waiting party within 2 weeks, then that same party should contact the insurance company. Adjusters ought to be held accountable for any of their promises. An insurance company can be charged with acting in bad faith, if it does not allow the negotiations to proceed. Like policyholders, insurers are supposed to adhere to the terms of the contract/policy. Those that do not should be reported to the state.
Every state government has a department that regulates the insurance industry. In other words, no insurer should feel free to do whatever he or she wants. Each of them must answer to the officials in the state’s designated agency. Personal injury lawyers understand what specific rights the insurers and policyholders have.