The insurance adjuster carries out a series of steps before presenting the claimant with an opening offer. Part of the adjuster’s job entails calculating the amount of money to propose as the opening bid.
First, the adjuster investigates the submitted claim.
He or she speaks with the policyholder, the person that purchased a vehicle insurance policy from the company that has employed the adjuster. He or she studies the police report.
Adjusters also speak with any witnesses: There could be witnesses mentioned in the police report. Alternatively, a call could be made to the claimant. That might help with discovery of additional witnesses.
Many adjusters search for footage that was taken by a video camera, one that was located close to the scene of the accident. Personal injury lawyer in La Verne knows that one of the adjuster’s tasks involves checking to see if the claimant has filed any previous claims. Another task involves going after certain documents
—The victim’s medical records
—The proof of lost earnings, due to the length of the victim’s recovery
Then the adjuster focuses on placing a value on the submitted claim.
Makes assessment of the medical bills: Adjusters often discount any bill from a chiropractor
Uses a formula or software to get estimate of claim’s value
—Adjusters that use software do not have to carry out assessment of the medical bills; the software does that for them.
—Formula relies on introduction of a multiplier. That is a number that is meant to represent the extent of the non-economic damages. The adjuster’s calculations involve multiplying the total for the medical expenses and the chosen multiplier. The product of that multiplication gets added to the value of the claimant’s lost earnings.
The adjuster takes a percent of the number obtained by using the formula and might use that has the opening offer.
What factors have the ability to alter adjusters’ choice for the size of the opening bid?
If the claimant were known to have decided against hiring a personal injury lawyer, then the bid’s final size could be lower than the calculated percent of the result obtained by using the formula.
If the claimant were known to have hired a personal injury lawyer, then the bid’s final size would be greater than the calculated percent of the result obtained by using the formula.
Adjusters’ choice for the opening offer should represent a choice that was made after the accident victim had arrived at the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). If it had been made before that point in time, then the chosen bid might be increased.
It’s possible that the treating doctor had reported discovery of a new symptom. That same symptom might indicate that the victim had sustained a serious injury.