10 Feb Settlement & Negotiation Expectations in Personal Injury Cases
You always want to recover the most compensation possible from your personal injury case. That amount of course depends on the circumstances of the case, including the injuries you have suffered. Recovering the full value of your case doesn’t necessarily mean going to trial, although at Baggett McCall we are always ready to take your case to court. The reality is that most cases settle without ever being tried. The “discovery” process, in which each side investigates the facts of the case, produces and requests documents and other evidence, and takes the deposition of persons important to the case, in addition to being necessary to prepare for trial, is also a process during which each side learns the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the case. Settlement & Negotiation Expectations
Negotiating a Personal Injury Settlement
Your attorney will normally make an initial written demand for compensation for your injuries, and the papers through which your personal injury suit is filed will set out your claim for the damages that you have suffered and are expect to suffer in the future. These may include injury to your body, resulting in loss of ability to earn a living, pain and suffering, cost of medical treatment and medication, damage to your property, lost income during your recovery, and other types of damage. Negotiations will normally occur as the discovery process progresses, with the two sides moving closer together as the facts of the case become clearer. The two sides will often reach an agreement on the amount of damages to be paid, a “settlement,” based on their mutual understanding of the facts of the case and the injuries suffered. The process of reaching a negotiated settlement can be short or lengthy, depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of the damages claimed. If the two sides are never able to reach an understanding and agree on a settlement amount the case will go to trial.
Insurance Companies and Settlements
The party ultimately paying the damage settlement, or the damages awarded at trial, is often the defendant’s insurance company. The insurance company is therefore very much involved in the case, approving or hiring the defendant’s attorneys and signing off on any settlement agreement. Once the insurance company is informed that it may be liable for damages caused by its insured, the company assigns a specialized employee, an “adjuster,” to the case. The adjuster will become very familiar with the facts of your case and make decisions relating to it on behalf of the insurance company. It is often the insurance company adjuster who is directing the defendant’s attorney who is negotiating a settlement with your attorney.
If you’ve been injured and are seeking compensation for your injuries, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to review your case and create a comprehensive strategy to recover the compensation you deserve.
At Baggett, McCall, Burgess, Watson & Gaughan LLC, our attorneys have over 50 years of experience representing clients in personal injury cases. We will work with you to help you recover fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us for a free consultation at our Lake Charles, LA office today at (337) 478-8888.
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