I recently had a call with a client who admittedly was a bit impatient. They called asking why there was no offer yet from the insurance company for their claim. We placed the insurance company on notice, and the client was treated for a back issue that was not yet better.
Our Client’s Fear
The client was injured over a year ago, but their claim was not settled. They were angry it was taking so long and wanted to know why. They felt like they weren’t in control and wanted to see some action in their insurance process after a car accident.
How Garmey Law Helped
We explained to the client that though we thought the liability in the case was good (a no-fault car crash), the insurance company was not going to make an offer to settle the case until we knew what it would take for the client to get better. At this point, the client had been treated for a long time, but there was still a discussion about needing back surgery to relieve the pressure in their back. It was not something that had been resolved and not something the doctors had determined would be permanent. The case was in a ‘limbo’ period where we were waiting to see how the client would continue to respond to treatment and whether they would recover or be permanently injured.
When we explained that settling the claim meant it was done, that hit home for the client. They remembered that they changed treatment plans from physical therapy to chiropractic care last year. If we had quickly settled the claim for less than what it was worth, without knowing we needed chiropractic intervention, the client would have been paying for that expense out of pocket without any argument that it was part of the accident. We also reviewed that if surgery is needed and the case is settled, we cannot open another suit and say the client’s injuries were worse than we thought and more surgery is needed. That’s not how the process works.
The client then was able to focus on what they could control. We reminded the client they are in control of getting better, which is their job. They remembered that they could work hand-in-hand with their doctors to figure out the best plan and work to get themselves better. Once the treatment plan is known, and the client is either better or we know from the doctors that the client won’t get better, we can make our demands. If it is likely that the damages will exceed the insurance limit, at that point, we would not have to wait and could make our demand. Since we weren’t there yet, and still had a lot of available insurance money above the case’s anticipated value, we needed the client to keep improving. That was in his control, and he could re-focus on his treatment plan and get better. He was happy that we reassured him that once his case was ready, we would make his demand and work to get him the compensation he deserved.