To settle or not to settle?
You might prefer settling your car accident case over going to trial. You would get paid faster. Besides, many people don’t like the idea of going to trial. In fact, you may even feel relieved to know that most car accident cases settle outside of court. However, knowing when to settle and when to continue negotiating or go to trial requires knowledge and experience. In some instances, litigation may be necessary to receive fair compensation. An attorney is vital for making the right determination.
Is the Settlement Offer Fair?
How would you know whether the insurance company’s offer is fair? Is it going to cover your medical expenses? What about time lost from work? What settlement amounts are typical in a case like yours?
These questions might be going through your mind. And, unless you are an insurance adjuster or lawyer, you probably don’t have the answers. Most people don’t have the first clue of how to negotiate a fair settlement.
The First Step in the Settlement Process
Your lawyer will submit a settlement demand letter to the insurance company. Typically, insurance companies make the first offer. However, when an insurance company proposes a settlement prior to the doctor’s final prognosis, you can bet the settlement is too low. What’s more, if permanent disability is a factor, accepting the first offer can be devastating. Invariably, attorneys advise waiting until the doctor says the patient has reached maximum medical improvement.
Before engaging in negotiations, your lawyer will evaluate the costs of current and future medical treatment. Whether you can return to your previous job and make the same income is also a vital factor to weigh. In addition, your attorney would know what a jury might award, if you went to trial. Experience with similar cases and the outcomes of those verdicts and settlements can help with evaluation.
With the above in mind, the attorney and insurance company negotiate back and forth. Negotiations continue until the insurance company has reached its final offer.
Settling Your Car Accident Case with the Help of an Experienced Attorney
It is vital to have an experienced lawyer at your side. A knowledgeable attorney understands the settlement process in dealing with a car accident case. The Office of Michael R. De La Paz can help. Whether you live in Beaumont or Abilene, location doesn’t matter. We represent clients throughout Texas.