Berenson Injury Law has a proven history of forcing insurance companies to make good settlement offers to our clients over the past 42 years.
But what do they look like? How is one obtained? And is it smart to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you?
How Does the Settlement Process Work?
There are two ways to get paid after your car or truck wreck:
- negotiate an agreed payment, or
- file a lawsuit and ask a jury to decide how much money you are entitled to.
Almost all cases settle out of court.
A settlement offer is the amount of money the other driver’s insurance company – and sometimes a government agency and your own company – is willing to pay you to resolve the claim.
Note that the insurance company will sometimes offer you cash soon after the accident. If they do this, you should be suspicious. The amount is usually very low, often $500.
Insurance companies are not in the business of making a good settlement offer unless and until they are forced to do this.
The personal injury lawyer can make them. He or she has the ability to file and prosecute a lawsuit which is an arduous and expensive undertaking. Insurance companies do not want to face the possibility of a large jury verdict.
That is the number one reason to hire an aggressive injury lawyer. Most people do not have the knowledge or time to take on these companies, understand how to obtain the required legal and medical documents, and try a case in court.
Be wary if the insurance representative also makes a promise that they will also reimburse you for your medical bills. It is a mistake to rely on this. There is no way to hold them accountable if they decide not to pay or object to the medical services or amounts and pay you less.
If you do accept this low offer, you cannot ask for more money or file suit if your injuries and other expenses are more than expected, which often happens.
At other times, the insurance company representative offers you no money at all. Good luck even getting some companies to even speak with you. If you have patiently waited on the company to be fair, your case can be seriously harmed.
Getting a good settlement offer without the assistance of a good personal injury lawyer is difficult, if not impossible.
For more information on this topic:
How does Fort Worth car accident lawyer settle claim?
What Do Settlement Offers Include?
The offer must fairly – and hopefully generously – compensate you for the damages you suffered after your collision. These include your
- Medical bills
- Loss of wages and benefits
- Vehicle and property damage, including towing, rental, and storage fees
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (in rare cases)
How do you know how much money to ask for?
There is no one answer, as every case is different.
Your medical bills may be $10,000 to $20,000 or more, including the ambulance, hospital, emergency room, radiologist, doctors, MRIs, therapists, pain management, pharmacies, etc.
Your health insurance company or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid may have paid some of your bills. Medical facilities may have written off some of their charges.
A car accident lawyer can also help you by reducing balances that are due. So your final medical bills, after these adjustments, can be lower.
You may also have substantial lost wages and other damages.
Personal injury lawyer and insurance company adjuster use several methods to attempt to calculate ranges of settlement values. These include formulas, per diem rates, verdict analyses, software programs, and algorithms.
The most important considerations are the
- severity of the crash,
- the quality and quantity of medical services,
- the adjusted medical bills balance,
- other damages,
- the other insurance company involved, and
- the experience and skill of the personal injury attorney.
We consider up to 62 variables to estimate what a good settlement offer should be and do everything possible to get that amount for our clients.
We research what other people with cases that are similar to yours have received from juries in Tarrant County or wherever the lawsuit will be filed in court.
We also utilize our extensive data base of our own successes.
For example, today we resolved a crash case for $95,000 for a man and $93,000 for his girlfriend with neck and back injuries.
Tomorrow, another woman is coming to the office to receive the entire $100,000 from her insurance policy after collecting the maximum amount from the other driver’s insurance company.
Here is a post about other settlements and verdicts we have obtained for our clients:
We also work diligently to get the above clients the medical treatment they need. This is impossible without health insurance or funds to pay for it so we can help get deferred payment arranged. Unfortunately, the other driver’s company does not pay for the plaintiff’s medical bills in advance.
Unless and until you know the value of your claim, you will not know how much money you should demand or whether the company is making good settlement offers.
Some people decide to handle their claim themselves to save money on attorney’s fees. We understand the concern, but this is almost always a mistake. The car accident lawyer can more than recoup his fee in the extra money they can force State Farm to pay.
We are committed to providing the best legal representation to our clients who have been injured in car and truck accident collisions – the only law cases we accept.
If you or a family member was hurt in a crash and you need help, please call us at 817-885-8000 or click on our website. The first phone call is free.