The insurer assigns each case to a designated adjuster. However, there are many questions that the adjuster must seek to answer:
• What happened at the time of the accident?
• How much is this claim worth?
The adjuster’s twin goals
• Make the payout as low as possible
• Avoid a lawsuit: That usually means putting forward a reasonable offer, throughout the stages of negotiation
What the adjuster considers, before making an offer
• The total for all of the plaintiff’s medical expenses
• Income lost by the plaintiff
• The plaintiff’s pain and suffering
• Other negative effects of the injury
• The limits on the policyholder’s policy
• The strength of the plaintiff’s argument: Insights into that strength might com from the plaintiff’s demand letter.
Advantages to the sending of a demand letter
This lets that adjuster know how much money the plaintiff expects to receive from the insurance company. Due to the figure stated in the demand letter, the adjuster has no good reason for proposing a low-ball offer.
That gives the plaintiff a larger amount of control over the negotiating process; the insurance company cannot insist on acceptance of its terms, so that the plaintiff gets to receive some money. Plaintiff has the option of sending photographs of the damage, along with the demand letter.
How a claimant could make the adjuster’s role a bit simpler?
Smart claimants stay organized, so that the information sought by an adjuster is right at their fingertips. Personal injury lawyer in Northbrook knows that most claimants do not get emotional while speaking with the adjuster.
Claimants should appreciate what motivates adjusters. The demand letter might be the first piece of correspondence. Follow-up letters should encourage the recipient (adjuster) to give serious thought to an approach that would not force the plaintiff to file a lawsuit.
The one piece of information that is never shared with adjusters
The author of a demand letter ought to have in his or her mind a figure that represents the lowest acceptable offer. That figure should not be shared with the adjuster. Still, by keeping it in mind, the plaintiff can compare that “secret figure” with any of the adjuster’s offers, especially the first one.
If the adjuster’s 1st offer were well above the plaintiff’s “secret figure,” then that would indicate that the plaintiff might want to reduce that “secret figure,” in order to allow more room for negotiating.
On the other hand, if the plaintiff’s lowest acceptable figure proved to be almost the same as the adjuster’s low-ball offer, then that would suggest the need to have a slightly higher figure in mind, as the plaintiff’s lowest acceptable bid. Again, such an alteration would allow more room for the various bids that were sure to be made, as the negotiations proceeded.