If you are entering into a personal injury claim, it is wise to educate yourself on the developments and procedures that are to be expected. One important matter to better understand for your personal injury case is the process of negotiations and settlements. After all, this is the part that affects you the most in terms of financial recovery or restitution.
Continue below to review some common questions and answers regarding this topic, as well as, where to get started learning more about your personal injury claim.
What is the Purpose of Personal Injury Negotiations?
Personal injury negotiations are meant to provide injured victims with the opportunity to demand the full and fair compensation from their accident and subsequent injuries. The process is sadly sometimes similar to haggling over the price of a commodity at your local city market; the seller knows how much they are willing to sell it for, and the buyer knows how much they are willing to spend on it, but neither party knows the other party’s limits, so a bargaining process commences. In the case of a personal injury claim, the injured victim and the insurance adjuster will go back and forth until they agree on a fair settlement. What one side believes is fair usually does not match what the other side believes is fair.
What is a Demand Letter?
An accident victim may need to take action in order to receive compensation for their damages by developing a letter of demand to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. Basically, a demand letter is a formally written memo that becomes the catalyst for negotiating full and fair compensation for an accident. They can be highly complex, so retaining an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer to write a demand letter is strongly advised.
What are the General Steps to the Negotiation Process?
The process of personal injury negotiations between claimant/attorney and adjuster often begins with the claimant’s attorney sending in a demand letter with the requested amount of compensation. As a response, the insurance adjuster usually tries to find problems or gaps in the claim, and possibly even question liability or deny benefits altogether. From there, the claimant will respond to the adjuster’s arguments. Then the adjuster might offer a low-ball settlement to see how eager the claimant is to settle. The claimant may respond by slightly conceding from their original demand, but still demanding a fair settlement. From there, the adjuster might deliver another offer that is higher than their previous one. At this point, the claimant can either accept the offer or make a counter-demand.
Of course, this is just a generalized example of the negotiations process; there is much more to the strategy of dealing with insurance adjuster ploys to get claimants to settle fast and low. For these reasons and more, you must have a personal injury lawyer on your case, managing the negotiations process for you.
When Do Personal Injury Negotiations Begin?
Shortly after an insurance adjust receives a demand letter, the process of negotiations will begin. Claimants usually get a phone call within 7 to 14 days, but this can vary depending on the traffic of the office, the adjuster’s schedule, and how much investigation the adjuster chooses to do. The entire process from start to finish can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, depending on the circumstances of the case. Talk to a licensed personal injury attorney to learn how long your claim might take.
What is a Reservation of Rights Letter?
After a claimant sends in a demand letter, it is fairly common for them to receive a Reservations of Rights letter from the insurance company. This letter is meant to inform the claimant that the company has begun investigating the claim, but at the same time, reserving the right to not pay the claimant anything at all if the investigations reveal that the accident is not covered under the policy. See our blog, “What is a Reservations of Rights Letter?” to learn more.
How to Make a Personal Injury Claim in Indiana
Call the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation with a licensed personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. Seasoned lawyers, Daniel Craven, Ralph Hoover, and Keith Blazek, can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve after being seriously injured in an accident. Call 317-881-2700 to get started today.