Personal injury lawyers negotiate settlements for their clients.
Negotiating settlements is crucial for personal injury lawyers.
Injuries bring physical and emotional challenges, with mounting medical costs, lost wages, and insurance companies aiming to reduce payouts.
Experienced attorneys can manage communication with insurers, easing the burden on clients.
Putting Together a Settlement Negotiation
Negotiating a settlement involves multiple factors, and experienced attorneys have effective processes.
Providing detailed evidence strengthens their negotiation position.
Attorneys seek documentation like accident reports and medical records to support their claims and secure the highest possible settlement. Key steps in their negotiation approach include:
- Determining who is at fault – The initial step is determining liability for the accident, typically assigning fault to the responsible party for covering damages. Fault in accidents can be established through factors like the police report, scene evidence, and medical reports.
- Determining the damages – Insurance claims often seek both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easily quantifiable costs like medical bills and lost wages, while non-economic damages, more common with severe injuries, are challenging to calculate and encompass pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other intangible losses.
- Medical bills and other expenses – Medical bills, considered economic damages, warrant close scrutiny during settlement negotiations. Injury lawyers assess potential additional costs. Lost wages due to time off work are also a key aspect of settlement negotiations.
- Insurance policy limits – Insurance policies have payout limits that vary. In some cases, injury costs exceed the policy coverage. State requirements mandate minimum liability coverage, often $25,000 per person, meaning the insurer pays up to $25,000 to the injured party.
How Long Does it Take to Negotiate a Settlement?
After reviewing evidence and strategizing, your attorney begins negotiating directly with the insurance company.
This typically starts with a demand letter specifying an amount, which can vary.
The insurer then responds, either agreeing or offering a lower settlement. Insurance companies aim to minimize payouts, making an experienced attorney valuable.
If the initial offer is low, negotiations ensue. In rare cases, insurers refuse to negotiate, and your attorney may advise going to trial.
The entire process, from case start to settlement, can take months or longer, especially if it goes to trial.
Your attorney keeps you updated and works to secure just compensation for your accident-related challenges.