Failing to Respond
After your Jacksonville slip and fall attorney has sent a letter of demand, the insurance adjuster should make a timely response. If the adjuster fails to respond even after your attorney has waited thirty days and followed up with a polite reminder letter, you and attorney should take a close look at some possible reasons the adjuster has for refusing to respond:
- Lost documents. The possibility exists that the demand letter, along with other relevant documents that were mailed to the adjuster, has simply been lost. This may be due to a claim number that is wrong or any number of other filing errors.
- Lack of time. Due to a heavy caseload, the adjuster may legitimately be too busy to respond in a timely manner.
- Stalling. Sometimes adjusters deliberately stall in order to hinder an early and fair settlement.
- Demand too high. If the adjuster believes the demand you and your Jacksonville slip and fall attorney set is too high, his or her failure to respond indicates a belief that negotiation is pointless.
- No intent to settle. Silence on the part of the adjuster may indicate that the insurance carrier had no intent from the very beginning to try to reach a reasonable settlement.
Your Jacksonville slip and fall attorney may reply to an adjuster’s refusal to respond in one of several different ways:
- Personally call the adjuster and inquire why a response has not been received.
- Call and ask for a meeting with the adjuster and stipulate that an offer must be forthcoming.
- File a lawsuit immediately. After filing, your Jacksonville slip and fall attorney will mail the adjuster and his or her claims supervisor a copy and wait for their response.
Sometimes an adjuster will claim that he or she must obtain authority to give or accept an offer of settlement. Your Jacksonville slip and fall lawyer knows that all adjusters are under someone’s authority. However, if assertions for “needing authority” are repeatedly made, your lawyer will recognize a delaying tactic. In this situation, your Jacksonville slip and fall lawyer should seriously consider litigation. Conversely, your lawyer can turn the tables on the adjuster by stating that he or she has not received authorization from you to accept such a low figure.
The legal expertise of a knowledgeable Jacksonville slip and fall lawyer may prove invaluable when dealing with an insurance adjuster. Please call John Fagan at 904-278-1000 to request a free initial consultation.