While some personal injury cases go to trial, the ideal scenario is that an insurer or liable party offers a fair settlement in advance of a formal lawsuit. This saves both parties time and money, not to mention preserving the public image of the defending party.
The way that personal injury attorneys reach a settlement is quite complex, though. They must first assemble all of the needed documentation and respond to any claim disputes the opposing party raises. After that, they must use their knowledge of the law and their experience from handling past settlements to proceed as strategically and diplomatically as possible.
Initial Investigation, Demand Letter Drafting
Before filing your personal injury claim, you should indicate to the liable party’s insurer that you wish to investigate the circumstances of your injury and the incident that led to it. You and your attorney will work together, examining police reports, interviewing witnesses and assembling other pieces of evidence needed to document the accident.
You will also need to document the full costs of your injury, including the costs of immediate and future medical care as well as any peripheral damages like emotional distress.
Once the circumstances of your case and full claim costs are understood, your attorney will draft a demand letter to the insurer requesting the maximum amount of compensation possible given their policy limits and the costs of your case.
The Insurer Responds, Counter-Offers are Made
When an insurer receives a demand letter, they have a limited amount of time to respond to the included claim. Once they do respond, they are highly likely to dispute the facts of the case or the nature in which the claim was filed.
If your attorney can successfully address these concerns, the insurer will respond to the initial demand with a counteroffer. Most insurers will hope that you wish to settle your claim quickly, so they will offer you a low amount that benefits them if you are willing to accept it.
In most cases, this amount will be neither fair nor satisfactory, which means you must counter this counter-offer with an amount equal or close to your initial demands. Your attorney and the insurer will then negotiate back and forth, handling discrepancies between the positions, making counter-offers and gradually reaching an amount that both parties can find agreeable.
If both parties cannot reach such an amicable solution, then the case must then proceed to mediation, arbitration or trial litigation.
How Personal Injury Attorneys Help You Through the Settlement Process
Without a legal representative, you may not be able to satisfy all the needed steps to file an appropriate demand letter and document your claim. You may also not satisfy the expectations of the insurer, meaning they will never wish to settle since they feel you do not have a strong case.
Even past the point that a claim is filed, an experienced attorney is needed to handle the back-and-forth complexities of negotiating so that the dispute can be resolved efficiently and on respectful terms.
Through all of these services, a Nashville personal injury lawyer can greatly increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury. Contact Mitch Grissim & Associates now using the phone number listed above or our quick online contact form to receive a free consultation and possibly start seeking your claim today.