Why a Personal Injury Settlement May be Your Best Option
- October 15, 2014
- Personal Injury
Bringing a personal injury claim to a resolution is an extensive process that can take months or even years. While taking an injury case to trial is a possibility, the best outcome usually tends to be with obtaining a settlement. This is because trials not only cost the client more, but they also extend the timeline of the claim. To get a fair settlement from an insurer, it usually takes the skills of an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney.
Bring them to the Negotiation Table
A knowledgeable attorney that has experience with personal injury law will build a case that should bring the insurance company to the negotiating table with a mind to act fairly. With a well-constructed case, the representative of the insurance company will see that a trial is not in their best interest and that they should save what they can by avoiding further costs.
Many clients have questions about how the damages are valued and how a settlement figure is determined and agreed upon between the injury lawyer and his counterpart in the negotiation. This process usually requires a few steps and a little bit of back and forth between your attorney and the insurance adjuster.
Building a Case through Discovery
For a personal injury lawyer, the process of determining the value of the settlement begins with the information that they collect concerning the damages. This will include things like medical expenses, the potential for future medical expenses, lost income and a lost capacity to earn an income. Other factors that your lawyer may include are less tangible like pain and suffering or loss of consortium.
Personal Injury Settlement Demand Letter
Once your attorney has considered all of these factors, they will come to what they believe to be a reasonable value for the case. The injury lawyer will send a demand letter to the insurance company where the information of the case is laid out explaining the incident and why, from your perspective, the defendant is liable. Along with that, the letter will also include a settlement amount.
The insurance company will usually respond with a lower offer and they may cite reasons why they believe the settlement should be reduced. They might offer evidence to suggest that the claimant holds some level of liability in the incident or that a particular cost outlined in the first agreement is not related to the case.
This process can go back and forth a few times with each side making offers and counteroffers. Both sides usually start the negotiations with an idea of what they believe the claim to be worth and what dollar range they are willing to accept as a settlement. There are different strategies that both sides may employ to gain an edge and, on both sides, the purpose of the negotiation is to get the best possible outcome without having to go to trial.
In the majority of cases, a settlement provides the best possible outcome. However, there are situations where taking the case to trial is unavoidable. That is why you should try to hire an attorney with experience as a negotiator and experience in the courtroom. With the Dallas injury lawyers at Guajardo & Marks, you have a team that will spare no effort in getting you a fair settlement, but if the need should arise, we will be ready and able to take your case to court.