What Is The Best Way To Respond To A Low Settlement Offer?
Just about any resident of British Columbia that has filed a claim with ICBC has received a low initial offer. What is the best way to deal with a low settlement offer?
Understand that there is no fixed time for delivery of such an offer
Some adjusters make their low offers only weeks after an accident. That represents an effort to contact the victim before he or she has hired an injury lawyer in Vancouver. Other adjusters purposely delay with initiating the negotiations (making an offer). The victim should not hesitate to contact the insurance company, and ask about the delay. Some adjusters hope that the victim will let the limitation period pass.
How victims can take advantage of the fact that there is room for negotiations
Get a lawyer to review the documents that have been studied by ICBC. Lawyer’s experience and knowledge should be used, in order to determine what additional evidence might be presented to the insurers. A hired lawyer could speak with one or more experts. That list of experts could include a physician, an economist and a psychologist. If a child has been injured, a pediatrician should be consulted. Maybe the knowledge of a pediatric neurologist would prove useful.
Working with ICBC Lawyers in Vancouver is important as they study how accident has affected the victim’s life. If any younger member of the family was injured, how could their future life have been affected? An economist could help with calculating the value of lost earning potential in the future. A severe injury can affect a young person’s earning potential in the future.
Restrain any desire to finish with negotiations as soon as possible. That could give the insurers a big advantage. Once a settlement has been finalized, a victim has no way of getting compensated for any new accident-caused symptoms.
Get familiar with any tests that have been ordered. Are these the most advanced tests available to patients? The victim has the right to demand utilization of the most up-to-date testing procedures.
Learn as much as possible about any given injury. Gain a sense for what aspect of the injury should be of concern to a physician. Later, if the victim gets scheduled for a medical exam, the same victim will know what observations should be made by the examining physician. In addition, the physician’s knowledge can be judged by the nature of the questions asked by that particular member of the medical profession.
All of the above efforts can be used to prepare a strong counteroffer. The strength of the counteroffer will determine the nature of further offers from ICBC. The negotiations that take place, following each of the offers manage to move the process forward. That works to the victim’s advantage.