The Advantage of Having an Attorney

Claim Negotiations

The Advantage of Having an Attorney: Claim Negotiations

Claim negotiation is a very adversarial process. Successful claim negotiation requires special skill, and it requires experience. Working with an adjuster is a challenge.

Most often, people think of medical bills as essentially their only worry after an automobile accident. Medical bills aren’t the only cost that the injured person finds himself facing, but even to be compensated for these bills, it’s often more complicated than just adding up the bills in the mail and then requesting a bit more for pain and suffering.

There is liability to be established—if you can’t convince the adjuster that their insured customer was the one liable for the accident, you receive no compensation. In addition to that, the adjuster must be persuaded that the treatment you received was “reasonable and necessary” in order for him to even consider paying it. In a multi-victim accident, the victim whose bodily injury claim is best presented is the person the adjuster will usually favor. In a wreck of any number of victims, it’s all about presentation of the truth…and presentation is a skill attorneys dedicate their lives to perfect.

Here at Joyce Law Firm, we are insurance coverage specialists. We have over 22 years of combined experience and training to negotiate—and to litigate, if necessary—your claim. We are accustomed to this adversarial process of claim negotiation, and will not allow one adjuster to decide your fate; more than likely, there are multiple insurers out there who should bear part of the cost of your misfortune.

Medical bills are not the only cost you now find yourself facing if you’ve had a wreck. Pain tends to bring that to the forefront, but what about property damage? At JLF, we are constantly negotiating higher settlements for our clients’ property damage than they would ever had been offered by an adjuster, had they not sought us out. There’s loss of use to be negotiated—which is very hard to prove if one doesn’t have the training—not to mention incidentals. How many accident victims prepare to negotiate additional costs of tags and registration on the replacement for a now-destroyed new vehicle?

“Negotiation” is the operative word here, and all these costs—medical bills or property damage—can be negotiated in your favor. It’s just that the skill and experience required to successfully maneuver this adversarial system makes contacting a trusted attorney the wisest thing to do.

To better understand the adversarial nature of the claim negotiation process, let’s continue with the example of a car accident.

In a car wreck claim, you must prove to the at-fault driver’s insurance company that their insured’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries. This—proving liability and cause—is especially difficult in Arkansas, because the Natural State is what’s called a “modified comparative fault” state. This means that if you are even 51% to blame, you cannot recover at all. Small mistakes in your claim negotiation process can mean a zero recovery. Imagine an accident involving multiple vehicles. Proving who is liable for your injuries becomes even more complicated, and avoiding the pitfall of an adversarial adjuster who knows how to make it appear that 51% of the fault was your own is unlikely.