Common Adjuster Tactics for Delaying Settlement

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.

“Needing Authority”

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.

Contact Us

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.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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