Settlement Negotiations with Insurers in Mississippi Personal Injury Cases
Many victims in personal injury matters settle their claim before going to trial if they’re able to come to an agreement with the responsible party’s insurer. In sum, the parties negotiate the amount intended to compensate the victim for all losses, the insurance company cuts a check, and the parties execute all relevant documents. However, there’s more going on behind the scenes as settlement discussions take place. It’s critical to have a strategy in place when negotiating an agreement if you want to obtain the highest possible compensation. A Mississippi personal injury lawyer can tell you more about best practices during the settlement negotiation process.
Even before opening settlement discussions, it’s essential to collect all available information related to the incident which led to your injuries. You must have factual support for your claim, to show fault of the liable party and to show the extent of your losses. The initial stages of information gathering actually begin at the scene of the incident, noting the physical and environmental conditions that were present. Your medical records are also important in settlement negotiations establish the costs of initial treatment, ongoing care, and rehabilitation.
Thus, be sure to take photographs and notes regarding the scene of the accident and your initial injuries. Also, keep track of all your medical bills.
File a Claim with an Insurer
The next step is to prepare a demand package for the insurance company that covers the responsible party as policyholder. The packet should include a letter and the documents you’ve collected, which are necessary to support your claim. In the letter, you can describe the circumstances surrounding the incident which caused your injuries, your history of medical treatment, and the losses you’ve sustained. In closing, you designate the dollar value that would accept to settle the matter.
You’ll also need to send in all your related medical bills and records. An attorney can help you gather your bills and records so you can avoid that hassle.
Review Insurance Company’s Response
An agent for the liable person’s insurance company will review the demand package, your letter, and supporting documentation. Once he or she completes the assessment, the agent will contact you with a response. Rarely will the insurer meet your demand for compensation; it’s more likely that there will be a counteroffer or outright denial of your claim. In turn, you have the opportunity to respond – either to make another offer or reject the insurance company’s settlement amount. At this point, you and your attorney may make the decision to file a lawsuit.
A Biloxi Personal Injury Attorney Will Protect Your Rights
As you can see, working out a settlement agreement with an insurance company is much more complex than negotiating over a home price or buying a new car. Even though you don’t have to prove your right to recover financially at trial, you still must convince the responsible party’s insurer that you’re entitled to compensation. Having a skilled personal injury attorney on your side increases the chances of obtaining a fair settlement amount because lawyers know the law, and know the value of your case. They also know when the time is right to abandon negotiations and take the matter to court. For more information on the settlement process, please contact the Law Offices of Judy Guice based in Biloxi, MS. We’re happy to answer your questions or schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.