Settling a Personal Injury Claim vs. Filing a Lawsuit

Many potential clients are hesitant to proceed with an automobile accident injury claim against the at-fault driver because they believe it will require the filing of a lawsuit that will ultimately end up in a trial.  This is absolutely not the case.  In fact, most automobile accident injury claims are resolved with insurance carriers through negotiation before any lawsuit is filed.  While every case is different, if a fair, negotiated settlement is reached with an insurance carrier prior to filing a lawsuit, the claim can be resolved voluntarily without the assistance of the courts.

Oftentimes, adjusters for insurance carriers contact injured victims quickly after an accident to try and settle their claims fast and inexpensively, before an injured party has even had a chance to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.  We can cite countless examples of clients seeking our assistance after having already settled their injury claim directly with an insurance adjuster for a nominal amount. Unfortunately, after a claim has been settled by an injured party directly with an insurance adjuster, it cannot be “unsettled”.  Always keep in mind an insurance adjuster’s job is to settle an injury claim for as little as possible, which benefits his/her employer – not you.  Opposing insurance adjusters have no duty or obligation to negotiate with you fairly, or otherwise “do the right thing” by you.  On the contrary, the only job of a highly skilled personal injury attorney is to protect you and your family’s interests.

The more serious your injuries, the more important it is to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side.  The fair value for injury claims involving serious injuries (broken bones, surgeries, permanent scarring), extended hospitalizations and medical care, and substantial lost wages far exceeds what an insurance adjuster will offer you at the outset of an automobile accident injury claim.  The larger your claim, it is imperative to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your interests.

While most injury claims can be settled before the filing of a lawsuit, this is not always the case.  If insurance carriers will not agree to compensate our clients with an appropriate settlement amount, we request permission from our clients to file an appropriate lawsuit at that time.  Ultimately, the filing of a lawsuit is the decision of our client, based on our legal advice.  We cannot (and would not) force a client to settle a case, nor can (or would) we force a client to file a lawsuit.  The final decision to settle a case or file a lawsuit rests exclusively with our clients.

Even if a lawsuit is filed, most filed cases are resolved at some point before an actual trial occurs.  Settlement negotiations usually continue between your attorney and the insurance company’s hired attorney after a lawsuit is filed.  Also, during the litigation process a judge will order the parties to mediation – another effort to see if a compromise is possible that will settle your injury claim without the need for trial.

We understand that not a single client wants to have a trial.  The process is long, costly, and stressful.  So, our approach with insurance carriers is simple:  We inundate insurance adjusters with irrefutable documentation regarding your claim early and often, with the help of your medical professionals, so that when the time comes to discuss settling your claim, the opposing insurance adjuster sees that your claim is strong and therefore worthy of substantial compensation.  When it comes to your personal injury claim, we follow the common sports analogy:  the best defense is a good offense.

Please call us for a FREE CONSULTATION at 941.625.6666.  On personal injury claims, we do not receive a fee unless we win your claim and recover funds for you.  At no time will you be asked to pay a retainer, or otherwise come out-of-pocket for any money associated with your claim.  We only recover our fees and costs is we recover for you!

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