Client sitting with attorney

When Settlement Negotiations Don’t Work in Personal Injury Cases

By David Hammond

Being injured in an accident is an overwhelming ordeal to go through. After such a traumatic experience, there are still battles and hurdles to overcome afterwards. While trying to cope with the pain of your injuries, you may feel helpless as you watch medical expenses pile up. You may be missing out on wage earnings due to missed time at work. The anxiety and financial pressure can be severe. It is no wonder accident victims are often extremely eager to reach a resolution on their personal injury claim. While most personal injury claims end in reaching a settlement with the insurance company, what happens when settlement negotiations do not work in a personal injury case?

When Settlement Negotiations Don’t Work in Personal Injury Cases

Settlement negotiations on a personal injury claim usually begin with the sending of a demand letter to the insurance company. The demand letter will outline the events of the accident. It will detail the property damage and, perhaps most importantly, it will detail the injuries sustained by the claimant in the accident. The claimant’s damages will be broken down and estimated. This will all be presented to the insurance company. As a result, the insurance company will likely generate their initial offer on the claim.

Now, brace yourself for that initial offer, because, after all you have been through, you may be disheartened by it. It is often extremely low and not nearly what you deserve to be paid out on your claim. The insurance company is often hoping that the claimant will accept this initial offer in a desperate attempt to quickly resolve the claim and get at least some much-needed compensation to cover expenses. Remember that once you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, you will be asked to sign a release that will prevent you from bringing any future claims on this accident. In other words, you get one shot to recover the compensation you deserve for the harm you have suffered in the accident. Do not get wrapped up on the idea of a quick recovery when it could have such a significant impact in the long term.

After the initial settlement offer made by the insurance company, there will often be a back and forth exchange of offers and counteroffers. In most cases, a settlement agreement is reached. There are some cases, however, where an insurance company will fail to come back with a reasonable offer. They will not budge and you as the claimant will have some tough choices to make. At this point in the process, it is time to seriously consider the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the insurance company.

By bringing your claim to court, it is important to realize that you could leave the courthouse with nothing. You could, however, end up being awarded much more than you would have gotten through settlement negotiations. The point is that you must take a good, hard look at your claim. How strong is it? Are there any potential questions as to who is actually liable for causing the accident? Is the medical evidence of your injuries clear, consistent, and solid? If you have a strong claim, then it may be a good idea to file a lawsuit.

Personal Injury Attorneys

The time dealing with the insurance company after an accident can be frustrating, especially after all an accident injury victim has been through. Hand this burden over to the dedicated team at CDH Law. We are here to fight for you. Contact us today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.