So, you’ve been hurt in a car accident or a fall, and you were not at fault for your injuries. The insurance company for the at-fault party has made a settlement offer and it’s not enough to compensate you for your medical costs, lost wages, lost earning potential, and pain and suffering. You want to settle for a fair amount, but you’re not sure how to get there. What next?
Whether you handle a personal injury claim with a lawyer or on your own, settlement discussions can be contentious and time consuming. The insurance company may try to dispute or deny that the accident was actually the fault of their insured. Injuries will be minimized, and the impact of injuries are often disregarded by insurance adjuster. It isn’t fair, but there are ways to get around these obstacles.
In many cases, I’ll be able to negotiate a fair settlement directly with the insurance company once we’ve cleared up any confusion about the injuries and the impact of those injuries on my client’s life. If we aren’t making progress or negotiations aren’t leading towards a good result, we may need to file legal documents with the court.
This is called “litigation” and the first step is the filing a Notice of Action and Statement of Claim with the Court. From there, the lawsuit is served on all parties responsible for the injuries. That person or company will then inform their insurance company and, at this point, I’ll get a call from the insurance adjuster or a lawyer. Depending on my strategy, I’ll continue negotiating with the adjuster or move forward with the lawyer assigned to the case. If we move further into litigation, we will then produce relevant documents and continue negotiations. We may also then have discovery examinations to so that the parties can ask questions of each other and learn more about the incident and damages claimed.
Discoveries help the parties and their lawyers understand the strengths and weaknesses of each other’s claims. If a settlement still can’t be reached after discoveries, it may become necessary to move toward a court date.
The parties can engage in a mediation or a settlement conference. Both of these exercises can lead to more discussion between the parties and provide another opportunity to settle the case before trial.
Almost all cases settle before anyone ends up in front of a judge, but occasionally a trial becomes necessary to achieve fair compensation. My goal is always to maximize my client’s recovery while working to minimize the stress of the claim process on my client.
If you have been involved in a car accident, slip and fall, or were otherwise injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, consult with the team at NOVA Injury Law to understand your rights and options. For FREE CASE REVIEW call at 1-800-262-810