At the start of the negotiations, each side knows 1/2 of the facts, regarding the outcome. The claimant knows the minimum amount that he or she would be willing to accept. The insurance company knows the maximum amount of money that it would be willing to pay.
Basic steps in negotiating process
The adjuster takes the first step, but not until after he or she has received a demand letter from the claimant. The claimant’s demand should be greater than the minimum acceptable amount. That allows room for bargaining.
The adjuster could respond in one of 2 ways. He or she might indicate that the claimant needed to provide the company with more information, or add clarifying statements to what had already been provided. Alternately, the adjuster’s response might be an initial bid/offer.
If necessary, the claimant should make the requested corrections or additions. In response to an initial bid, each of the claimants should respond with a counter offer.
The 2 sides would need to exchange their offers and counteroffers until they had both agreed to accept a certain figure. At that point, the disputing parties could prepare to settle, as per personal injury lawyer in Aurora.
How claimants can help the negotiating process to move along smoothly
Gather and prepare their evidence and refrain from being eager to settle. Strive towards demonstrating a combination of patience and persistence. Go after the answer to a question, but do not expect an immediate answer. Recognize their right to be told a date when promised information should be available. Adjusters should not keep claimants waiting “forever” for the answer to a question.
Possible points of contention before both sides reach a settlement
If the adjuster were to question the veracity of some of the information in the demand letter, then that could prove to be a source of contention. It could delay the start of negotiations. The amount of coverage that has been promised by the applicable insurance policy: Details on the limits would work to determine the amount of coverage for the reported accident. The accident’s location might also affect the coverage.
The determination of whom to hold liable for the reported damages: Was there evidence of comparative or contributory negligence?
The extent of injuries: That could prove a source of contention if the claimant’s medical history were to mention a pre-existing condition or a previous injury.
The extent of treatment, along with the type of medical provider that had furnished the treatment
The adjuster might not be able to make a quick response to every one of the claimant’s counteroffers. He or she could need to speak first with a supervisor. That would not represent a point of contention, but it could slow the entire process.