An injured accident victim that has submitted an injury claim to the insurance company of the responsible party should expect to get a settlement offer from one of the company’s adjusters. For that reason, the same victim would benefit from learning how adjusters arrive at such an offer.
Approach taken by adjuster
• Learn who has been declared at-fault
• Study the story of what happened, as told by both parties. Also read the police or accident report.
• Study the company’s claims databases. These show whether or not the claimant has filed other injury claims in the past.
• Contact the plaintiff’s attorney and request specific documents.
Sometimes the offered documents could contain information that has managed to force the adjuster to delay the issuance of an agreement to a settlement.
-One document might offer evidence of a past injury
-A document from the plaintiff’s employer might introduce questions about the plaintiff’s salary.
The adjuster’s next steps
Review the plaintiff’s medical bills, in order to learn the background of the health care provider. Had the plaintiff been treated by doctors that had received an MD degree, or by chiropractors? When plaintiffs have chosen to get treated by a chiropractor, the adjuster might subtract some of the money had been calculated by adding up all of the plaintiff’s medical expenses.
If that total for the plaintiff’s medical bills were to get reduced, then the plaintiff could get a smaller settlement. If that total were to get reduced, then one of the figures in the adjuster’s formula would be a good deal smaller. The adjuster uses the formula that has been chosen by the insurance company. It might rely on utilization of a multiplier. The multiplier would remain indicative of the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries.
After having calculated the results obtained by using the formula, the adjuster would be ready to make that first settlement offer. Yet adjusters do not use the calculated figure as their initial settlement offer. Instead, they prefer to make a bid that is some percentage of the figure obtained by using the formula.
If the claimant had hired a personal injury lawyer in Barrie, the adjuster would probably keep a good-sized amount of the formula-derived figure. On the other hand, if the claimant had not sought help from an attorney, then the adjuster would be inclined to offer just a small percent of the formula-derived figure. A claimant could never predict exactly what figure an adjuster might put forward, when making that initial bid. Still, a claimant’s understanding of the personal injury process could make it easier for that same claimant to make an educated guess, as to what might be the size of the adjuster’s opening bid.