When Is a Personal Injury Case Ready for Settlement?
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 negotiations.
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 (833) 600-0125
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.