Insurance adjusters are the “middle-man” in the personal injury settlement process. Although they are the person a San Diego personal injury attorney will negotiate with for a settlement‚ the adjuster must get the authority to settle from someone.
Many experienced adjusters‚ including supervisors and managers‚ are fully aware of the value of a case‚ even prior to their receipt of the demand letter from your San Diego personal injury attorney.
To the extent the amount demanded is in line with the adjuster’s conclusion as to the value of the case‚ the adjuster’s failure to timely settle the case may be simply a delaying tactic. Quite simply‚ many insurers will delay making a payment as long as possible.
If the adjuster repeatedly employs the “I need to get authority” excuse before they can approve a settlement‚ it may be time to consider filing a lawsuit. If the adjuster repeatedly makes a settlement proposal that is a “low-ball” offer‚ an experienced San Diego personal injury attorney may respond by stating‚ he‚ the attorney does not have “authority” from you‚ the client‚ to settle for such a small amount.
Sometimes‚ however‚ the adjuster does not merely delay or make a low-ball offer‚ but does not respond at all. What‚ then‚ are the options?
Initially‚ it should be determined if the failure to respond was based upon a good faith reason. Good faith reasons include such issues as an incomplete file (for example‚ the demand letter was never actually received or had an improper claim number) or as simple as the fact that the adjuster has been to busy with too many files to respond.
However‚ if the refusal to respond is only for the purpose of delay‚ or‚ worse‚ if the insurer has no intention of settling for a fair amount‚ a San Diego personal injury attorney may recommend various options. The attorney may personally call the adjuster or personally visit the adjuster. But the ultimate trump card of filing a lawsuit may be necessary to achieve a fair and equitable recovery for the injured party.
If you are not already represented by a San Diego personal injury attorney‚ please contact Ross Jurewitz for a free case evaluation.