If you have been injured at the hands of another party’s carelessness,
it is highly likely that you will want to file a
personal injury claim against those responsible in pursuit of monetary compensation for
your losses. If you are unable to come to an agreement with the responsible
parties, a lawsuit may ensue. While some personal injury lawsuits go all
the way to trial, a majority of injury cases are settled out of court
through negotiations between the plaintiff and defendant or an insurance
company. Through settlement, you will agree to give up your right to pursue
further legal action in exchange for the payment of a certain amount of
money from the opposing party. But how does this process work, and how
do you know when your claim is ready to be settled?
The answer is that it depends, as all injury claims are different and are
settled at different paces. If you are thinking about settling a legal
claim after an accident or injury, or if you have already received a settlement
offer, it is important you talk to an attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer
can provide a thorough assessment of your case and determine the most
appropriate course of action.
When Do Settlement Negotiations Begin?
Once a lawsuit has been filed, settlement discussions will usually not
begin until the defense lawyer has completed their pretrial investigation,
including depositions and interrogatories. In many cases, insurance companies
will refuse to engage in settlement negotiations until they have reviewed
all the facts they need to make a decision. Likewise, if the defendant
files a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, they will often be unwilling to
talk settlements until the court has ruled on the motion.
Your attorney will help you determine when it is appropriate to begin settlement
talks. Starting talks too early could make you come off as looking desperate
and cause you to receive a low settlement offer. In many cases, it is
wise to build up your case first and wait for the defense to initiate
How Can an Attorney Settle My Case?
Negotiating settlements can be similar to bargaining to buy something at
an outdoor marketplace where haggling is customary. Both you and the opposing
party know how much your damages are worth, you know how much you expect
to receive, and the other side knows what they are willing to pay. With
that being said, neither of you know how much the other party is willing
to budge. To reach an agreement, both your attorney and the opposing side’s
representation will engage in a process of demand letters, arguments,
offers, and counter-offers.
Negotiations will be based mainly on the following issues:
- The extent of your insurance coverage
- Determining who is at fault for the accident
- The severity of your injuries
- The type and extent of your medical treatment
Remaining organized, persistent, patient, and calm can all be beneficial
during this process and potentially tip the scales in your favor. It is
important to note that once you settle, there is no turning back. The
case will be over, and you will not be able to have a change of heart
after signing a settlement agreement. For this reason, it is imperative
you review all terms of a settlement offer with an attorney before accepting,
including payment terms, release of liability, and confidentiality terms.
Injured? Call (417) 313-1130
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our personal injury
lawyers at Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci can fight to maximize your
potential settlement and ensure your rights are protected during this
difficult time. Having recovered millions on behalf of injured clients
throughout Joplin, Springfield, and Rogers/Bentonville, we have what it
takes to get the results you need.
Schedule a no-cost case review today to find out more about how we can assist you.