Lawyers & How They Negotiate Personal Injury Settlements
If you have recently been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you may find yourself in a sea of lawyers without knowing which one to choose. After being injured, many individuals turn to lawyers for help in protecting their rights and helping to ensure they are fairly compensated for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.
Depending on the accident, medical attention may or may not be required. In an automobile accident, for example, the individual who caused the accident will be responsible for any repairs to the victim’s automobile, along with the previously mentioned compensation. Most individuals hire a lawyer soon after the accident occurs even though settlement negotiations will typically not begin until after medical treatment has ended.
After concluding medical treatment, lawyers will begin to negotiate with the insurance company representing the person who caused the accident. During this time, lawyers will assess the amount of medical bills, doctor reports and diagnosis, lost wages, damages and will attempt to estimate a fair amount of pain and suffering. After gaining your approval, personal injury lawyers will submit a proposal to the insurance adjuster for consideration. It generally takes 30 days for a response, which is expected to be a counteroffer. At this time, lawyers will discuss the offer with their client and see if a fair settlement can be reached. If not, the lawyer will prepare another letter explaining that the adjuster’s offer is not acceptable and will, once again, request that the case be settled for a slightly lower amount than the original proposed amount. This situation is a test of each side as the adjuster wants to settle the case for as little as possible while the lawyers want to make sure their clients are properly compensated. After several letters back and forth, and perhaps some telephone calls, the lawyers will advise their client when a fair offer has been reached. While they cannot instruct their client on what to do, they can advise them on the fairness of the offer and how that figure may change if the case were to proceed to trial.
For reasons of both time and expense, the majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court. Once a trial is granted, attorney fees and court costs increase dramatically. An attorney receives a pre-negotiated amount of the client’s settlement, but receives a larger percentage if the case moves to trial. There are a number of lawyers who handle personal injury cases and it is always important to select one that is most sincere and seems most knowledgeable about the process.
The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, professional legal advice. Individuals who need legal help should consult one of the lawyers in their area who can assist them with their questions and concerns.