This is probably one of the things insurance companies don’t want you to know the most about your Orlando, Florida car accident case. They reserve the claim. What is reserve?
That means, they have to take out of their big pot of money and put a little bit of money with your claim on it.
So, “Joe Johnson, we’re going to put – after our initial evaluation, we’re reserving 10 grand that we’ve got your name on”, that’s the number that dictates the settlement value later because they don’t want to be caught in a trap like, “Oh I reserved it for 10, I didn’t know he was going to have surgery and, all of a sudden, the claim’s for $250,000.”
It’s hard to get them off their initial number. So what do you have to do?
You’ve got to talk to the adjuster as the lawyer, “Hey Mr. Adjuster, my client Joe, I think he may need surgery. He’s got a disc, he went immediately to the hospital by ambulance. I’m going to send you those records. Look at what he’s talking about, radiculopathy down his arm, pain shoots down his arm. There may be a surgery. Guess what, it looks like he’s missing work, his wife’s in a lot of trouble, she’s going to have to go back to work.”
You want to create the vision of the claim kind of half glass full versus empty, whatever that cliché is, that they go, “huh! We’re going to put 50 on this case instead of 10”, because when it gets to the end of the claim, it makes my life easier to ask for money that’s already there versus money that is not there.
To get an injury insurance adjuster to say, “I messed up”, “How do we put 10 on it?”, “Why should I put 100” typically takes me filing a lawsuit, getting the jury to change the mind, and it’s just not the right way to handle it. It’s just being thorough and complete on the front end is what we’re trying to do.
The reserving of a file in the beginning can be death to your claim.
If they get it wrong on the front end; it’s hard to pull them back.
So reserving the claim in the beginning, no injured party knows about it, only lawyers and adjusters because we do it. You’ve got to get them educated on what’s going on, or you’re going to suffer the consequences the rest of the claim.