When you are hurt in a car accident, there are a lot of things that run through your mind, but most people aren't focused on suing the other driver or their own insurance company. Unfortunately, because of the way the world works, most people find that they are given far less of a settlement than they deserve, especially if the accident wasn't their fault. I wanted to create a blog all about choosing a better accident and personal injury attorney, so that you can prevent longterm financial ramifications from your accident. I know that a lot of these tips helped me along my journey.
When you've suffered an injury at the hands of someone else, you're likely looking to file a personal injury lawsuit to recoup the money you've lost in medical treatment and lost work time. However, before you do this, you need to understand what lies ahead. One of the first things that you will probably receive once you file your lawsuit is a settlement offer. Here's a look at what you need to know about the settlement offer and response process.
The First Offer May Not Be Ideal
The first thing that the insurance company for the other party will try to do is settle the case before it goes to court. To do this, the insurance company will determine a settlement figure and send you an offer to settle for that amount.
Don't be surprised if the offer is much less than you would have expected. Remember that the goal of an insurance company's operation is to preserve profits whenever possible. The best way to do that is by paying as little as possible for claims. If you accept the initial offer, they stand to save considerably over what you might otherwise receive.
The Offer Letter Is Negotiable
Insurance companies start with a low offer intentionally, because it allows room for negotiation. The lower their initial settlement offer, the more room they have to negotiate with you before reaching what they have actually determined is the maximum they will pay for your claim.
Because of that, you shouldn't accept that first settlement offer. Instead, work with your personal injury attorney to draft a counter offer. Explain your position concisely and accurately, and set a figure of your own, even if it is a little on the high side. Remember, that gives you room to negotiate.
You Don't Have to Settle
While the settlement offers are a standard part of the process and are a good way to resolve the case more quickly than going to court, settling is not a necessity. You can negotiate the settlement offers, and then decide not to accept any of them. If you or your attorney don't feel that any of the offers are fair or believe that you have a strong case and could get a better award in court, you have the legal right to refuse the settlement offers entirely in favor of taking the case in front of a judge instead.
Just remember that when you do this, the judge's ruling will be final. There is no room to negotiate that result. For that reason, approach the settlement offer negotiations earnestly and try to arrive at a mutually agreed sum before it goes to court if you want some assurance of control over the outcome.
Contact personal injury lawyers, such as Kenneth P Hicks and his legal staff, for more information.Share