Most car accident injury cases will not go to trial. In order to reduce how much time and money are needed, parties tend to reach mutually agreement settlements. These happen before trials.
Obviously, if you want the best possible results and a high settlement, you need to work with one of the top rated car accident lawyers in Philadelphia. However, you should be aware of some very important things about the injury claim process.
The Demand Letter
Insurance injury claims involve a demand letter. This is where the party that was injured lays down accident circumstances, facts, discusses medical treatment, and starts the settlement negotiations phase. This is the best option you have to present a very strong case that would finish the process fast as you deal with insurance companies.
A properly drafted demand letter is going to highlight events leading to and from the accident, present every medical treatment you received, and includes proof of lost wages and medical bills. Usually, you ask for an amount that is higher than what the insurance company would offer. This allows the attorney to negotiate.
The Negotiations Phase
After the demand letter, insurance companies review everything listed, together with the provided documentation. In order to settle, the insurer makes an offer. This is often very low as the insurance adjuster uses the same tactic as your lawyer. So, room for negotiations is left.
After the initial offer is received, a response is prepared by the attorney. Usually, it is declined and the reasons why the offer cannot be accepted are laid out. The goal here is to remind the insurance company of the most important parts of the demand letter.
At the end of the response, a counter-demand is usually listed. Negotiations will continue and if they stall, you can submit more evidence to make the claim stronger.
Mediation is basically having someone else, a third party, help in the negotiations. Professional mediators offer fresh perspectives. They highlight the weaknesses and strengths of both parties involved. The goal is to bridge the gap and reach a completely amicable resolution.
Accepting The Settlement
When the offer of the insurance company meets the satisfaction of the plaintiff, it is time to accept the settlement. However, this should only be the case if the offer is written or it has no value.
In most cases, insurers refuse to pay until the injured party signs a release. This is a legal document stating that the plaintiff accepts the settlement and no extra claims will be made in the future for what happened in the car accident.
It is very important that before you accept any offer, you double check to make sure the amount of money given to you will cover every loss you had. This should include future losses, like for ongoing medical treatment. If you do not know if the amount is suitable, consult your attorney to make sure. They are more than capable of understanding if the settlement is a good one or you should be offered more by the insurance company. If you should be offered more, you can go to trial.