People are not always sure whether or not they should handle their own personal injury case. They may be astute negotiators in their own business, for example, and see no need to involve someone else. In most cases, they would be dealing with an insurance company. Whether the case involves an auto accident, medical malpractice or tripping and falling at the mall, expect to be talking to an insurance adjuster sooner rather than later.
What is the insurance adjuster’s motivation? Obviously, they want to settle for as little as possible. They also want to avoid going to court, if they can. They know that if a jury is sympathetic to the injured plaintiff, the award can be much higher than a settlement would have been. Legal costs are also high and to be avoided.
Adjusters anticipate negotiation on a settlement offer, so the first offer will be as much as 50% lower than what they are actually prepared to pay. They add up the costs: current and future medical expenses (which may actually still be unknown), lost income, pain and suffering and emotional distress. How much value should be put on suffering? The adjuster will probably have some formula that is used to figure out what pain and emotional distress is worth, but the person actually suffering the pain will probably disagree with that estimate.
The adjuster will also attempt to estimate the strength of the case if it should go to trial. The stronger they feel the case is, the more they will offer. It will be necessary to have all of the evidence, witness statements, photos, police reports, etc. The adjuster will not offer more than the maximum amount of insurance coverage on the policy.
The Chappell Law Group primarily handles Florida cases involving Personal Injury and Business Law. These are the primary legal interests of the firm’s founder, Howard E. Chappell. He has been dedicated to obtaining justice for those who have been injured since his first courtroom trial where he was an Injury Lawyer. He won that trial and was gratified to be able to help someone who desperately needed his help. Eleven years later, he feels exactly the same way.
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