Settlement Negotiations In An Injury Case

Both sides bargain with each other, regarding the size of the compensation for the claimant. The bargaining takes place during the negotiations.

What issues are negotiated?

In the early stages of the process, the opposing parties address the issue of who was to blame for the accident, and the resulting injuries. The claimant must also share information about the nature and extent of his or her injuries. Claimants put their information in a demand letter.

Adjusters respond to the demands by explaining the strengths and weaknesses of the claimant’s argument. An adjuster might suggest that there was shared fault. Sometimes, too, an adjuster might question the reported severity of a given injury. In the later stages of the process, the two sides bargain over the size of the compensation. Claimants should allow plenty of room for bargaining, when stating their demands.

What aspects of the claimant’s approach to the process help to ensure the delivery of a fair compensation package?

Organization: If the claimant’s collection of documents, photographs and other information has been well organized, then conversations with the adjuster should go more smoothly. Claimants that have kept good notes understand better what has happened, and what should happen next.

Patience: Personal Injury Lawyer in Sault Ste. Marie always tell their clients to delay any negotiations until their treating physician has told them that their recovery has progressed to that stage of maximum medical improvement. That is the point at which the doctor has not further treatment to offer.

Insurance companies want their claimants to be impatient. That could push them to settle before becoming aware of all their symptoms or the possible consequences of a given treatment. Once someone has agreed to settle a claim, the insurance company becomes freed of responsibility for any new symptoms or any complications.

Persistence: Smart claimants do not pester an adjuster. Still, smart claimants do let any adjusters sit on facts, or a response. If the negotiation process has stalled, it pays to call the adjuster’s office. Try to learn when the desired piece of information should be available.

If the office has shared some information, then the caller/claimant ought to seek confirmation of the facts that had come from the office personnel. In other words, the claimant ought to share the stated facts in a letter, and ask whether or not those sane facts are true.

Being polite: A rude claimant seldom gets much cooperation from any adjusters, or from anyone that he or she might contact. Adjusters are busy, and have to answer to their superiors. A claimant’s rude behavior has not ability to alter their goals. The adjuster’s goals consist of convincing claimants to accept a low payout, and managing to avoid any potential lawsuit.