Before the start of negotiations, concerning a settlement figure, the claimant needs to write a demand letter. When composing that demand letter, the same claimant should ask these questions: How much money am I looking for? What factors must I take into consideration?
What are the claimant’s chances for ending up on the winning side of the dispute?
What evidence supports the claimant’s argument?
What evidence manages to throw doubt on the veracity of the claims made by the person has submitted a demand letter?
If able to win, what expectations should the claimant have, with respect to the damages that he or she might be awarded?
The answer to that question must be more than speculation. Smart claimants take the time to calculate the value of their submitted claim. That means sitting down and using a particular formula. Express as a percent the answer to the question at the top of the first paragraph: What are the claimant’s chances for winning? Use that percent as one factor in an equation. The other factor should be the amount of money that a jury would be apt to award the person that has submitted a claim.
The product of those two factors is the approximate value of the claimant’s case. That same value represents the figure that should be the goal of whatever negotiations have led to a settlement.
How claimants should use the value that has been calculated?
The first step involves doubling that calculated figure. Use that as a guide during composition of the demand letter. Still, keep in mind the need to respond later to the adjuster’s initial offer. Claimants that reduced the size of their demand too rapidly could allow themselves to get cheated of some of the money that they deserved to receive. In other words, their deductions would have allowed the adjuster to leap-frog over a fair settlement figure.
On the other hand, a claimant’s decision to proceed extremely slowly with deductions could deflate the adjuster’s desire to increase his or her offer. In that case, the adjuster’s expected response might not get heard or read, because it would not be made.
If a claimant’s approach has created such a situation, it would probably pay to hire a personal injury lawyer in Richmond. Lawyers understand the nature and extent of a claimant’s rights. Insurance companies that ignore those same rights could become the target of a lawsuit.
Insurance companies do not like to meet a claimant in a courtroom. For that reason, most insurance companies expect their adjusters to keep any negotiations going, until an agreement has been reached. Still, it never hurts to be prepared for the possibility that negotiations stall, and the claimant must pursue a lawsuit.