Procedure That Opens The Path To Settlement

If there were no offers from any of the disputing parties, no personal injury lawyers would be asked to help with negotiation of settlements. In other words, introduction of a bid/offer opens the path to a settlement.

Factors influencing the initial offer

Adjusters’ offers usually reflect an insurer’s opinion, regarding the value of a given case. An insurer urges adjusters to use a percentage of that value, when making the initial bid, as per personal injury lawyer in Sherwood Park.

Steps that precede the bid’s introduction

Adjuster studies the insurance company’s database, in order to see whether or not the claimant has made other claims.

Same company employee (adjuster) studies the claimant’s medical records.

—Checks to see how many of the claimant’s bills did not come from a medical doctor
—Discounts bills that have come from practitioner of alternative medicine

Adjuster uses formula to place value on claimant’s pain and suffering

—Adds up all of the “acceptable” medical bills
—Multiplies sum by number between 1.5 and 5: The more severe the reported injury, the higher the number used as the second factor.
—Adds to the product the value of the claimant’s lost salary.

Adjuster’s final task concerns an examination of the legal course that was chosen by the claimant. Did he or she elect to retain an attorney? If the answer is “no,” then the adjuster’s initial bid gets downsized.

After presentation of that first offer, is there a clear path to a negotiated settlement?

No, there are multiple steps along that path. Any step that helps the negotiating parties to reach an agreement should include both an offer and a counteroffer. If any party failed to respond to an offer, or failed to reply to a counteroffer, the negotiations would stall.

On the other hand, experienced claimants know that it does not pay to push things along. It does not pay to come forward with a new counteroffer, when there has been no reply, following presentation of the most recent one. Claimants’ impatience can lead to creation of unfair terms.

Personal injury lawyers always caution their clients against agreeing to settle, before having arrived at the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Their treating physician should let them know when their recovery has aided attainment of MMI.

Still, the absence of a counterbid could cause the insurance company to become frustrated. That, too, could harm the end result. It could force the claimant to leave money on the table.

Many things can happen after the adjuster’s introduction of that initial bid. Yet, none of those would have been possible, if the same bid had never been made. That is the complicated story of the path that could, eventually, lead to settlement.