Negotiating a Medical Negligence claim is a bit like bargaining to buy a product in an outlet where haggling – with two parties making offers and counteroffers– is routine. Both parties involved know roughly how much the item (your damages) is worth.
As the claimant, you have an idea how much you are willing to accept for it, and the insurance adjuster knows how much they are willing to offer. But without negotiating, neither party knows how much the other side is willing to offer.
Negotiations for Medical Negligence claims take place when the defendant makes an offer of settlement or under your lawyer’s advice, by you. If your medical negligence solicitor has prepared your claim case well, there is a high probability that the defendant will admit responsibility and enter into negotiations for settlement. Your solicitor will guide you through the entire claim process to ensure you secure maximum compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered.
To ensure a successful medical negligence claim negotiation, there are three key attributes medical negligence solicitors apply:
When conversing with an insurance adjuster, a good negotiator is expected to take notes of what is said. Part of your role involves writing a confirming letter and send it to the insurance adjuster if either you or the adjuster have agreed (or not) to do a certain thing.
As a negotiator, you’ve probably had to wait a considerable amount of time to get all the necessary documents, including income and medical records. Still, it is important that you do not try to settle the claim in a hurried manner. One tactic that adjusters typically employ is to make a low initial settlement offer to test the waters and, of course, your patience. A good negotiator will not jump at the first offer.
They will rather hold off for a little while so the settlement amount can be increased. Over time, the adjuster will be more willing to settle your claim as quickly as possible; then you will receive full value for your claim.
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The flip side of patience is persistence. As a good negotiator, you wouldn’t want the adjuster to have absolute control over your claim. If the adjuster has promised to do something – make a new offer or check with a supervisor – it is important that the negotiator gets a specific date by which this promise will be delivered. Let every agreement be put in a confirming letter, and when the promised date rolls around, call the adjuster and politely demand a response. While it is important that you do not pester the adjuster with your demands on a daily basis, it is even more crucial that the adjuster realizes you are always there and that you’d be following up on your claim regularly.
- Calm and Honest
Insurance adjusters are mostly underpaid for the kind of work they do. They also relate with lots of people daily, which means they could be easily triggered when talked down. A good negotiator knows this and will keep his/her cool even if the adjuster is inconsiderate or unsympathetic. It is the job of the negotiator to show that he knows how the process works and that the claim is an honest one. A calm and honest approach devoid of high emotions will likely get a great settlement offer in the end.