Once an insurance company has received a claim, it assigns that same claim to an insurance adjuster. Adjusters must represent their employer, the insurance company, during the pre-settlement negotiations.
How do the negotiations get started?
The claimant, ideally with the help of a lawyer, composes and sends a demand letter. At the same time, that claimant should form in his or her mind the figure that represents the minimum offer seems acceptable. Understand that all claimants should feel free to change that minimum figure, as the negotiations progress.
The demand letter gets sent to the insurance company. Adjusters are supposed to respond in a given amount of time, with the length of that time period varying from state to state. The amount of money quoted in the adjuster’s response should determine the claimant’s next action.
If the adjuster has presented the claimant with a low-ball offer, then the claimant’s response should include contacting the creator of that low-ball figure. Claimants deserve an explanation for such a low number. Sometimes, the addition of a bit more information, such as details on the accident and the related injuries, can encourage the sending of a higher offer.
How does a negotiated dispute get settled?
The 2 parties in a dispute should feel free to settle at any time. Once negotiations have started, each side seeks to receive an acceptable offer from the other side. In other words, the offers get exchanged until both sides have agreed to accept a particular figure.
At that point, the personal injury lawyer in Northbrook for the claimant’s should seek confirmation of the fact that the insurance company has agreed to accept the latest offer. That same letter should inquire as to the date when the agreed-upon sum of money should be ready, so that it could be sent to the client/claimant.
After receiving that letter, the insurance company sends 2 things to the lawyer’s office. One is a statement confirming the company’s acceptance of the latest offer, along with details on the date that it should be ready. Enclosed with that particular letter is a release form.
The release form is meant as assurance that the claimant will not ask for any further compensation, with respect to the settled dispute. Lawyers read the form, have their clients sign it, and then send it back to the insurer.
Once an insurer has received that signed form, then the compensation package gets mailed to the claimant’s attorney. The attorney takes care of any subrogation payment, takes out his or her contingency fee, and then sends the rest of the money to the waiting client. Claimants that encounter problems with the settlement process should not hesitate to contact an attorney of their choice.