Do adjusters respond to a letter from an attorney?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:03 pm   Post subject: Do adjusters respond to a letter from an attorney?  

When adjusters get that package thing from an attorney with documents, photos and other papers and etc. How long does it usually state in the letter to respond? Do adjusters really respond by or on the date? How do they respond by phone, email, letter or fax?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:52 pm   Post subject:   

It's called a demand, demand packet, injury demand... something along those lines. Adjusters _need_ to respond by the date in the demand or at least communicate with the attorney that more time is needed. If they don't, it can lead to a bad faith claim from their insured (attorney files suit as there was no response, ie the insured gets dragged into court and this allows the insured to file a bad faith claim as none of that would have happened if the insurance company would have responded by the date in the demand.



Sometimes there is no date. If not, then state statute or case law is followed. Usually this is within 30 days. But sometimes it can be "reasonable" time frame, etc. In any case, when a time frame is not listed an insurance company usually follows the 30 day rule.



Attorneys sometimes make unreasonable time frames like 7 days (this is usually a red flag that they may be setting up a bad faith claim for later). In this case the adjuster should send a letter right away and let the attorney know that more time is needed.



When responding to a demand it is usually done via phone or fax but a letter could also be mailed. I usually call as at some point I, as an adjuster, will need to talk to the attorney (it's difficult to negotiate via letter and just wastes a lot of time). But sometimes I can't speak to the attorney directly, so I'll briefly explain my offer and follow up with a more detailed letter.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:41 pm   Post subject:   

Wow that was a great and fast response. Great info Tscope. Do they need to respond if its a third party?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:45 pm   Post subject:   

Almost all demands are from a 3rd party (usually they are liability claims). Do you mean not from an attorney but directly from the party who suffered the loss? Yes, demands are always going to be responded to. A 3rd party can always file suit against the carriers insured. The carrier has a contractual obligation to provide their insured a defense. If they don't provide a "reasonable" defense then their insured could later have grounds for a bad faith claim (the insurance company did not provide this defense and this caused the insured to suffer additional damages). It's rare that a party that is not attorney represented would provide a formal demand. Usually it's just a call asking to have their loss taken care of. But it's a demand none the less.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:21 pm   Post subject:   

Thank you for your wonderful answer. And yes the demand was from an attorney. Are these packet big? If they are who wants to read a big packet? I believe my attorney gave them 30 days because he said he should hear from them sometime next week.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:06 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Are these packet big? If they are who wants to read a big packet?
Some are some are not, I've got some I could hardly lift (just kidding not quite that big)...some attorneys follow the ''baffle 'em with -- ' well you know ...theory, and no body wants to read that but we have to some of it you can skim over because alot of it is the same atty to atty...but medical records etc...need to be read...
Quote:
I believe my attorney gave them 30 days because he said he should hear from them sometime next week.
The demand letters on boths sides (meaning demand/offer/counter demanad/counter offer)...all have (really meaningless) deadlines...''this offer will be withdrawn at midnight on aug 30, 2008" type stuff...there have been times when I have written an attorney back ask requested additional time to review all info especially if they send a monster packet, and try to give you 48 hours to respond, when you couldn't get anything out of them for six months... Rolling Eyes but if your demand has been sent you should be in the home stretch should be done within 90 days...atleast...some adjusters (and I have to admit to doing it depending on the attorney) will wait till the last day to respond.... Rolling Eyes


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:11 am   Post subject:   

Thank you Lori. What is wrong with responding on the last day? I dont see anything wrong with that. You also have other files and claims to handle as well. I hope my lawyer and the adjuster can work something out. I heard adjusters like to work with attys more than the claimant because they understand the process better. Is that true?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:19 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I heard adjusters like to work with attys more than the claimant because they understand the process better. Is that true?
It depends entirely on the claimant...if you have someone that no matter how hard you try just can't understand, or someone that had a stiff neck and 200 bucks in chiropractic bills and think you should pay them 10k...then yes, an attorney is much easier to understand...I personally prefer dealing with the person because in that vast majority of cases, the injured person loses money by getting an attorney...say i offer to settle a bi claim for 8k...claim gets mad thinks i'm low balling gets an attorney, in order for the claimant to get that same 8k the attorney must successfully get me to pay 10k...so where's the logic there? Hopefully that is not the case on your claim...also there are adjusters and companys that are hard to deal with, if that's the case an attorney may be needed....but just because a person is atty rep'd does not in anyway automatically mean THEY (the injured person) will get a bigger settlement...there is data that says claims payments are higher with attorneys, but not necessarily to the deserving injured party...also very high complicated claims an atty can be helpful...but most of the time...(sorry) IMO the only one benefiting is the attorney... Rolling Eyes


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:46 am   Post subject:   

No that not the case on this claim. I was told my numerous of people and lawyers that the insurance was very notorious. I spoke with the adjuster lady is was very nice but than what started to thorw me off than she gave me a 10 page statement to sign. LOL i never heard someone had to give a 10 page statement for a simple auto accident. And the wording was a bit different than what i said. Also she didnt think her insured was at all at fault. I know your probably saying a 10page statement is long. When i asked if i can keep it for a day or two than sign it and send it back. She said no that i had to read it over and sign it now or she was going to close the file. Thats when i decided to get a lawyer. Because 10 page is alot to read under pressure. I dont think i did something wrong with asking for more time to read it over. But that is why i got a atty.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:12 pm   Post subject:   

Based on what you've said...i don't blame you a bit...likely was a good idea in this case...good luck! And let us know if we can be of any assistance.



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:52 pm   Post subject:   

The initial question was pretty vague but I'm guessing you suffered an injury and an injury demand was sent. Depending on the nature of the injury and length of treatment I've seen demand packets anywhere from 50 pages to around 400 pages. The have a short (2-5) page cover letter from the attorney outlining everything and then all the medical bills, medical notes, loss wage info, etc.



As an adjuster I've seen hundreds of these packets so I usually am able to skim over much of it and focus in on the important parts. But it can still take hours to fully understand the information.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:53 am   Post subject:   

Well, the situation is kinda pushing the ball back to her court lolÂ…she gave you a ten page statement to read and sign and you have returned her with a demand package containing 50 pages (at least) Very Happy





I can fairly understand the difficulties the adjusters may face in such situations. Reading through these scores of pages isn't a matter of joke, though surely a seasoned adjuster can skim the relevant part easily.





Quote:
I heard adjusters like to work with attys more than the claimant because they understand the process better. Is that true?






Its not so always, as lori has said it depends upon the circumstances and the claimant. The involvement of an attorney always cost a fortune, as he'll claim a significant portion of your recovery as his fees. However, in your situation the involvement is fairly justified.





Hope you soon get your claim settled.



~Jeremy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:45 am   Post subject: claim settlement  

i fell in aug of o8 and broke my wrist and tore some legimites. I had surgery in Jan of 09. My attorney sent demand package 2 weeks ago. he gave them 15 days to answer. How long do you think it will taketo settle. Thank you


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:21 am   Post subject:   

15 days is not a long time. Most demands have time limits of 30 days but 15 days is not unusual. Personally, I'm betting the adjuster asks the attorney for another 2 weeks and if so, the attorney would probably agree. They may go back and forth for a week but if they can come to an agreement, it should not take any longer then that. So I'd say 3-5 weeks would be typical.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:20 am   Post subject:   

I have 1700 dollars in medicals and 1000 in lost wages and the people who hit me had a million dollar policy.... how much do you think my settlement should be.... and it happened in November 2008?


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