There are a lot of factors that affect a settlement. It takes work on the part of your attorney and our staff of experts to do a full investigation of the accident, get police and medical records, interview witnesses, maybe hire experts like accident reconstructionists and life care planners, and prepare the paperwork we need to negotiate with the insurance company. Once we have the information we need, we prepare a demand and calculate a settlement value we think is fair for you.
Before negotiating with the insurance company, your attorney will ask you for authority to settle your case for a certain amount of money. While that amount can change during the negotiating process, it is an amount that we both agree is fair and reasonable. After a lot of back-and-forth with the at-fault party’s insurer, we come to an agreement.
Or not. It’s almost always better to settle a case – if it’s in your best interests – than it is to go to trial. But if the insurance company won’t agree to settlement terms, you still have the option of filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. That doesn’t happen often, though. We’re skilled negotiators and pride ourselves on being able to arrange a settlement that meets or exceeds the dollar amount you agree to.
Once you settle with the at-fault party, you accept payment for your injuries and agree not to sue that party. If you’ve already filed a lawsuit, you will agree to drop the case. In any event, as part of the settlement you will sign a statement releasing the other party from further responsibility.