Dell and Schaefer increase offer 700% with a simple negotiation tactic

Attorney Daniel VillalobosAuthor: Attorney Daniel Villalobos

Our Clients Get Into An Automobile Accident

Our clients, a 60 year old woman and her 80 year old mother, were driving their car one sunny day in Miramar, Florida. Suddenly and without warning, another vehicle ran a stop sign and T-boned our client causing our clients’ vehicle to spin around to the other side of the road. Fortunately neither client suffered serious injuries. However both of our clients had small neck and back pains.

The Victims Undergo Treatment

Immediately after the accident our clients undergo physical therapy with a local chiropractor. The doctor diagnosed both clients with minor sprain/strain and recommended 3 weeks of physical therapy. It is important to note that this small amount of therapy is rare; typically doctors recommend three months of physical therapy. But since our clients were relatively unhurt, the doctor only recommended minimal therapy. After three weeks of physical therapy, our clients were released from care.

Dell and Schaefer Attempt To Negotiate A Settlement

After the treatment was complete, our firm filed a bodily injury demand against the insurance company. Our firm sought monetary damages for bodily injury, aggravation of a preexisting condition, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, disability, mental anguish, property damage, past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and impairment of ability to earn future wages. The insurance company read our demand and made a very low offer of $3,500 to settle each case. They attempted to justify their low offers on the fact that our clients only needed a few weeks of physical therapy and nothing else. The adjuster was firm on her offer and would not budge off her $3,500 offer. Our clients were very upset and did not want to accept the offer.

Dell and Schaefer Change Negotiation Tactics

Realizing we were at a dead end with the typical negotiation process, our firm had to think about another avenue to get a better offer. Typically our firm has gotten substantially better settlements when the case is settled in pre-suit mediation, as opposed to over a telephone call with an adjuster. Our firm drafted up a lawsuit (but did not file the lawsuit) and sent a copy of the lawsuit to the insurance company. We stated that if the insurance company did not submit to a pre-suit mediation, then we would file the lawsuit. The insurance company was aware that if the lawsuit was filed they would need to hire a lawyer to defend the case at a very high cost. Since they knew they would be stuck paying high attorneys fees if they didn’t submit to our demand, they decided to attend a pre-suit mediation. At the pre-suit mediation, our firm demanded $25,000 to settle the case. We demanded that they accept our offer or face the filing of a lawsuit. Because our firm had already setup a pre-suit mediation, the insurance company knew our firm was serious about the filing of a lawsuit. They grudgingly accepted our demand and paid our clients $25,000 each! That’s a 700% increase from the original offer! Our clients were absolutely thrilled that our firm went the extra mile. Most other law firms would have stopped at the phone call with the adjuster and forced their clients to accept the low offer.

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