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Lombardi Law Firm

How not to negotiate an Iowa boating injury claim with the insurance adjuster.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death

Blog Category:
9/9/2013
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This man has a valuable Iowa boating accident injury claim and Iowa lawyers see this type of claim every year. But in this case the person injured is initially trying to settle his own claim. To prepare for his role as an unlicensed lawyer he's done a little Internet research. He’s not unlike many of my friends, they all think the practice of law is easy as making a pie or mowing the grass. On the Internet they go and then after a half hour they are off the insurance races.

Lawyers get good at what they do by learning through trial and some error. The lawyers who last learn from their little mistakes. We all try to avoid the big mistakes and that's where years of reading cases sharpens our skills. Our legal inventory is in our experience, a daily practice develops. Our "inventory" is also our business system and in most importantly it is the experience in our memories. You can’t learn to do what we do by reading on the Internet for 20 minutes. The law is far too complicated. But will it stop people from trying; probably not. So here we go with Mr. Weekend Boater who thinks he can be the exception. On the Internet, two hours of reading lawyer commentary and he’s off working his own case. Believing he is knowledgeable about how to settle his own case he files a claim by sending a letter to the adjuster and after puffing up his chest and ego begins working his own case.

But is he ready to play lawyer? Does he really understand enough about Iowa boating accident liability and personal injury law to be his own lawyer? Probably not, but let’s see why he is now asking an Iowa boating accident injury claim lawyer for free advice.

Question: What if I made the adjuster in my Iowa boating accident injury claim an offer to settle the case and did it without an attorney and before doing research and then I realized I didn’t ask for enough? After I made the call an insurance agent left a message for me to callback and talk about the claim? Now I’m worried because I don’t want to settle for what I offered to settle for. Can I up the settlement with the information I've obtained?

Answer: Okay, let me talk first about the legal stuff and then we can discuss what you’re doing wrong. You can withdraw your last offer before it is accepted and make a new offer. There is nothing that says you can’t raise your demand, but from a practical standpoint negotiations will suffer. You do see this on TV, but let's remember life isn't really a sitcom. Consider the message this will send to the adjuster. Why would an insurance adjuster keep negotiating with someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and raises rather than lowers the offer? He won’t. After all he's trying to settle with you on the cheap and that means your numbers have to head south, not north.

So ask yourself are you hurting your claim? By raising your offer you’re putting it on a billboard you are not trained to understand the law of Iowa personal injury claims. The adjuster will just play with you at this point and never get serious, but lead you on hoping the statute of limitations will run and void any further claim. At that point he’ll close his file and you’ll never hear from him again.

You may want to hire an attorney to negotiate a settlement of your Iowa boating injury claim. In the end it could save you a lot of money.

Can you afford to be wrong? If you can afford to lose, then it’s not a problem, just have at it; if you can’t hire an Iowa lawyer who is experienced with handling personal injury insurance claims.

Good luck and call us if we can help you. 

Top Three Boating Accidents in Iowa

  • A boat collides with an object while cruising.
  • A water-skier, tuber, or kneeboarder falls.
  • A boat is operated in a reckless manner.


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