In my last blog post, I talked about reaching MMI-maximum medical improvement. This falls right into stage four, negotiating with the insurance company/companies (the demand). Without our clients’ reaching MMI, we are not able to negotiate with the insurance company/companies. You are probably wondering: “Why does the title of this stage list both insurance company and companies?” Sometimes, we will only be negotiating with one insurance company. Other times, depending how many vehicles are involved in the accident, it can be two or maybe even three insurance companies. If your personal injury claim is a “Premises” (slip and fall) case, we will only be negotiating with one insurance company -the property owner’s insurance.
Another part of this stage that you may be unsure about is the demand. “What is a demand?” A demand is letter produced by our attorneys, which makes a demand for monies to the client to pay for their medical expenses as a result of their injury. Everyone in the State of Florida is required to have PIP-Personal Injury Protection as a part of their auto insurance. However, in most personal injury cases, the PIP will run out before for all of the medical expenses can be paid. This is where the negotiating comes into play. We will send out a demand letter with a specific amount to cover all of the client’s medical expenses as a result of our records and bills.
Initially, we send out a demand and give the insurance company thirty (30) days to respond.
One of three things may happen:
- The insurance company could accept the demand and send a check for the exact amount money we demanded; or
- The insurance company could send us a “counter-offer” with a lower amount, which, in most cases, we will send them another counter demand back or we will accept their offer. Each case is different and it is up to the client to decide; or
- The insurance company could deny liability altogether.
When they deny liability altogether, that is when we will meet with the client to discuss the necessity of filing a lawsuit. That brings us to the next stage which I will talk about in our next blog post: Stage Five- Filing a Lawsuit (If necessary).