If someone’s negligence causes an accident, and another party gets injured, the negligent person can be held responsible for the accident-caused injuries. In a personal injury case, the injured party seeks compensation from the negligent and responsible person. Thus the 2 parties must strive to resolve a dispute.
Legal terms used for such a dispute
The victim is the injured party. Victims that file a personal injury claim become claimants. Each claimant/victim should know the extent of his or her injuries. For that reason, negotiations should not start until the claimant has arrived at the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). The person held responsible for the injuries is the defendant. Any monetary compensation for the claimant must come from the defendant’s insurance company.
Situation at start of dispute
The claimant has sent a demand to the adjuster. The insurance adjuster has an idea, with respect to the amount of money that the insurer feels ready to pay. The 2 parties will negotiate, regarding the amount of money that the claimant/victim feels ready to accept.
First steps along route to an agreement
The adjuster receives the demand letter. The adjuster responds, and highlights the weaknesses in the claimant’s argument. The victim issues a response to the adjuster’s observations. At this point, a victim might appeal to the adjuster’s emotions.
Understand that adjusters do not always issue a quick response. A claimant might need to wait 2 weeks for the adjuster’s reply. The absence of any reply after that 2-week period should push the claimant to call the insurance company.
If the adjuster has claimed to be quite busy, then the caller/victim should ask for a date when a reply could be expected. If nothing has arrived at the conclusion of that 2-week period, the victim should contact the adjuster’s supervisor.
What follows those initial negotiating steps?
The adjuster releases a counter offer. After studying that counter offer, the Personal Injury Lawyer in North Bay for the plaintiff comes forward with a different demand, one that is slightly less than the amount that was mentioned in the demand letter.
The adjuster responds to that lower demand by agreeing to raise the size of the requested reward. The adjuster and victim keep exchanging offers until the 2 of them agree on a specific figure.
At that point, the insurance company asks the claimant/victim to sign a release form. The claimant signs that form, and then the same claimant asks the insurance company to estimate the date when the insurer will issue the compensation check. Eventually, the insurance company issues a check, and sends it to the office of the claimant’s lawyer. The lawyer removes his or her contingency fee, and then sends the remaining funds to the waiting client.