Zevan Davidson Roman Law Firm Articles Negotiation Process for a Personal Injury Claim

Negotiation Process for a Personal Injury Claim

By Kevin Davidson  Feb. 9, 2015 11:12a

The negotiation process for a final settlement in a personal injury claim may be intimidating to the claimant.

Reaching a final decision in a personal injury claim can by a stressful situation for a person who has already been victimized because of negligence. The victim and insurance adjuster have an idea of the value of the damages. They are also aware of the amount they want for it. However, both sides are unaware of the amount the other side is agreeable to.

Negotiating a Personal Injury Settlement

  • A demand letter is sent to the insurance company requesting a specified amount.
  • The insurance adjuster questions the claim and points out issues such as an unnecessarily long physical therapy period.
  • The claimant answers the questions.
  • The insurance adjuster gives a lower counteroffer to check if claimant is looking to get a settlement as soon as possible.
  • The claimant considers the arguments of the adjuster and gives a second demand letter with a slightly lower amount.
  • The offer of the insurance company is increased by the insurance adjuster.
  • The claimant can accept the offer or send another demand letter.

Be Prepared

The main thing to consider in reaching an agreement is being prepared for all phases of the claims process. These phases include investigating the claim, providing documents, sending a demand letter, and being aware of how much the claimant is willing to accept. It is advisable to consult with a St. Louis personal injury lawyer to handle these negotiations with the insurance company.

Negotiations normally start after the demand letter is received by the insurance adjuster. The adjuster will contact the claimant within two weeks after the demand letter is received. The response is determined by the schedule of the adjuster who may have to review the claim and discuss it with the insured party.

Reservation of Rights Letter

The insurance company may send a reservation of rights letter. The letter informs the claimant that while an investigation of your claim is being conducted, the company reserves the right not to pay for any settlement if the accident is not included in the policy. The reservation of rights letter is a tool that provides protection to the insurance company. It also gives claimants an idea that the accident may not be covered by the policy and in doing so the insurance company benefits if the claimant settles for a smaller amount.

Claimants should not be frightened by the letter since the claim will undergo an investigation by the insurance company. However, if the accident is not covered by the policy, the company may not pay anything. The facts of the accident and injury will be the determining factor. If the insurance adjuster does not respond to the demand letter within two weeks, the claimant should get in touch with the claims department. A specific date should be set by the adjuster if the claim has not yet been reviewed. The date should be confirmed through another letter. If the insurance adjuster fails to respond on the second date, the claimant should talk to the supervisor of the adjuster.

If you have been injured because of another person's negligence, call the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200.

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