Settlement Negotiations in Car Accident Cases
Following a car accident, injured victims may assert a legal claim against the at-fault party, known as the defendant in a personal injury claim. As one method of recovering financial compensation, accident victims may enter settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster representing the defendant. Since insurance adjusters often seek to minimize claims asserted against their insureds, it is important to understand the legal rights and protections provided to car accident victims. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our Chicago car accident attorneys have decades of experience representing injured individuals in settlement negotiations following a crash. Whether a lawsuit involves a single defendant or multiple parties, we are prepared to recover the full extent of damages for people injured by the careless conduct of others.Settlement Negotiations in Car Accident Cases
In an accident claim after a car crash, victims may be interested in a settlement as opposed to a trial. When settlement negotiations in a car accident case take place between an accident victim and an insurance adjuster, there is an advantage to the accident victim retaining legal representation. In many situations, insurance adjusters may not be inclined to offer the amount that the victim may recover in court, since they assume that the victim would not pursue litigation. Hiring an attorney and indicating a readiness for litigation may help secure a fair settlement.
Achieving a proper settlement in a negotiation following a car accident poses certain challenges. In addition to challenging the validity of injury claims set forth by the accident victim, insurance companies can also fail to properly consider all of the pertinent evidence, such as witness testimony that supports a finding of aggressive or reckless driving by the defendant. Insurance carriers representing the defendant may not offer fair compensation, and in some cases, litigation is the appropriate course to enforce a legal right to recovery.
As an early step in the settlement negotiation process, an accident victim, typically through their attorney, submits an initial settlement demand. This includes a full presentation of their case, with injury claims and all of the supporting evidence. Insurance adjusters then review the claims documentation and attach a value to the case.
Insurance companies typically offer a lower initial amount than they would actually pay. It is in the interest of the insurance company to seek to settle the claim for the smallest possible amount. However, accident victims need not accept this initial offer. Presenting evidence of verdicts in car accident claims arising from similar circumstances, such as when a driver was texting behind the wheel, can help support a claim for an increased award.
Demonstrating the true impact of the accident upon the victim is critical to a successful settlement recovery. A settlement offer that is fair and appropriate will compensate the victim for all of the forms of their harm. Medical evidence can help victims point to the full extent of their harm and increase the likelihood of a successful financial recovery.
Settlement negotiations following a car accident may reach a conclusion when the victim’s demand for payment meets the insurance carrier’s offer. If the negotiations do not lead to an agreement, the victim may be forced to assess litigation as a next step. The acceptance of a settlement is a release of the right to pursue a lawsuit. When an accident victim agrees to close their claim and accept the amount of the settlement, this will be considered a full and final payment for their accident-related harm.Retain an Experienced Chicago Attorney to Maximize Recovery After a Car Accident
At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we provide legal representation to car accident victims seeking to hold at-fault parties accountable for causing an accident. Throughout the process of a settlement negotiation, our skilled legal team sets forth detailed evidence in favor of our clients, helping to reach a fair settlement agreement. Our attorneys help people throughout Illinois, including in Chicago, Rockford, Aurora, Champaign, Quincy, and other areas of Sangamon, Adams, Kane, Winnebago, and Cook Counties. To reach our office, call (800) 444-1525 or complete our online form. We offer a free consultation that can help victims of distracted driving accidents and other car crashes understand their legal options.