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Medical Malpractice Resources
- Find Medical Malpractice Lawyers, Med Mal Attorney Finder
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- Evaluating Medical Malpractice Attorneys
- Nosocomial Infections: When Hospitals Make You Sick
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- More Medical Malpractice Articles
Best Way To Get A Medical Malpractice Adjuster To Return My Calls
The best way to get an adjuster from a medical malpractice carrier to return your calls is to understand how the claims negotiation process works and how it might break down and then conduct yourself in light of that information. It is a good idea to have an understanding of the responsibilities of the adjuster and what he or she will be doing throughout the claim or case, the information the adjuster needs, the documentation required and the constraints the adjuster faces.
It is also prudent to have a particular settlement amount or acceptable range in your mind so that your negotiations are focused. By not jumping enthusiastically upon the initial offer and pushing the adjuster to justify “low-ball” offers, you put your strongest foot forward. Throughout the negotiations, emphasize the strengths of your case, which are often your emotional points, and be persistent in pressing and reiterating them. Finally, it is a good idea to reduce your settlement agreement to writing, even if you don’t have a professionally prepared agreement done by an attorney. Some protection is better than none.
Review, Sign And Return The Release Form To The Adjuster
One of the first things that an adjuster will require of you is a completed release form. To get your calls returned, correspondence addressed, file reviewed and/or negotiations moving forward, you will need to review, sign and return that release form to the medical malpractice adjuster. Your claim is not going to progress from intake stages without a release. The completed release form is necessary even if negotiations break down between you as a lay person and the adjuster and it becomes necessary to retain counsel to litigate the matter.
Don't Be Fooled Or Lulled Into Thinking The Insurance Company Will Operate In Good Faith
It is imperative to realize that a professional liability insurance company has no duty of good faith to negotiate with you, timely, fairly or otherwise. Medical malpractice is not like auto insurance, where the policy often has built into it a good-faith duty between the insurer and insured or the insurer and parties injured by the insured. Additionally, there are state laws in the auto insurance industry that might mandate that same good-faith duty. Those requirements don't exist in the medical malpractice arena.
Because of this lack of a good faith duty, you might find delays that are intentional, dismissive and stone-walling. All of them are designed to make a claimant untimely in raising, giving notice of and filing a claim, let alone any lawsuit. The insurance company would like nothing more than for a claimant to miss the statute of limitations and be time barred in asserting a pricey claim against the insurance company and limits of the applicable policy.